a white cell phone with a screen showing flight information

The new Google Flights is now the best Google Flights…

Google has a knack for making things that work really well. After acquiring some of the most powerful airline software, the company built Google Flights, which instantly became the best way to search and book flights. There were some brilliant features which instantly made it more user friendly and deal savvy than others. But then they went and tried to make it pretty. It was so disappointing, we wrote about how to quickly “run away” and go back to the old version. It now appears that the old version is fading away, but that’s finally ok – because the new one is mint.

a search engine on a websiteIn Your Face Features

The old Google Flights made tracking prices really easy, but keeping up with your tracked prices was a bit of a fidget. The new Google Flights puts your tracked prices right there in front of you when you navigate to the website. In addition you’ll instantly find popular destinations, a flexible map explorer, helpful insights to unlock better deals and a filter for carry on baggage needs. Plus, you’ll find all the same good ole’ functionality of the original version – like searching from up to five departure places to up to five destinations at once. More on that…

a screenshot of a screenPrice Tracker

We’ve said it once – we’ll say it again. Without a doubt the best way to save on plane tickets is to set free price trackers. If a flash sale comes online, you’ll know in time and these days thats crucial because the best deals only last mere hours! The new Google Flights once again allows you to track an unlimited amount of flights with ease. In fact, prices you’re already tracking now pop up on the home page which makes it far easier to keep track! Simply search for a flight and you’ll see the new track prices button directly under the best search results. Use it – and use it often, even if just to learn how prices work. You’ll even get helpful emails with any changes.

a map of the united kingdomDestination Inspiration

Travel booking is not always a surgical transaction where you know exactly what you want or where you’re going on exact dates. Sometimes you just want to dream a little bit, gain an idea of what your options are or see if you’d be better off going in another month. The improved “Explore Destinations” tool on the homepage is your one stop shop. Simply click “Explore Destinations” and you’ll find yourself immersed in prices and options all over the world without having to enter any search details or destinations. You’ll instantly see options and prices to countless great places and can play with dates to see how prices change.

a screenshot of a computer screenBasic Economy Bags Filter

Airlines have made it much harder than it should be to tell what’s included with your ticket and more importantly, what’s not. Some “basic economy” tickets restrict passengers from bringing full sized carry on bags or anything larger than a small backpack and now Google Flights has a filter to help passengers avoid these prohibitive and borderline deceptive prices – if they need a bag or overhead bin space. You can now instantly filter out the “jaw dropping” prices you might not actually be able to use and you’ll also see other restrictions, like boarding last.

a screenshot of a computerFlight Tips & Insights

Who needs travel bloggers? Google is using machine learning and artificial intelligence to make helpful hints, assumptions and tips about your airfare needs. Google Flights will now tip you off if a nearby airport, or similar date is cheaper via the “Flight Insights” panel. It also now shows you price graphs for similar trips to give you a feel of what they usually cost. Perhaps most exciting to aspirational travelers, “Flight Insights” now even tells you if you might be better off in premium economy, business or first with a price quote. First class can be just $20 more than economy on short flights, but the perks are worth far more.

Do you use Google Flights? What’s your favorite feature?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I miss the original.. The new google flights is harder to use and does not allow you to easily explore the map.

  2. Did you realize there is literally no way to explore the mea while changing your information on your itinerary. It keeps brining you back to another page.

    the original was simple.. the new is over complicated

  3. I hate the new version – Its substantially slower. There is lag at every data point entry.

    The old version (which is still accessible) is far scrappier

  4. I miss the original, and now that I switch back to the original they removed the ability to track flights. Guess I’m going to have to move to the new one against my will….

  5. Important to note you can still revert to the original maps (at least for now) by clicking the icon of the running person in the bottom left corner of the screen. I imagine that will phase out though.

    The beta version of this update left a lot to be desired with respect to navigating the map /filters, but seems to have added back these features. Specifically I mean being able to adjust times/other filters without selecting a destination.

    I’d love google to eventually add the ability to search a map with a set destination (but open ended origination city). For example, you’d easily know which star alliance flights would get you back from Europe to New York by time and price. I imagine this probably poses time zone challenges but I’m sure Google could do it.

  6. YEs the olds one was better it’s overhead or check option is good. An app would Ben fantastic ! Why is there not one already ???!!

  7. The new one is still awful. The mobile version doesn’t even show intermediate stop duration or aircraft type until you click a hard-to-find drop down arrow.

  8. Very usefull, I think this will get better in the next few years. Used this a lot, you can use all different types of filters. Also when you don’t know to leave, you can ‘play’ with the dates to get the best price.

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