Way back in late 2012, Google quietly introduced a new experimental service called Flight Explorer. In a nutshell, the tool detects your current location and places it in the ‘From’ section (though this can be edited). In the ‘To’ section it defaults to the US, though this too can be edited. You are then able to customize many facets of your search parameters.
Serendipity in search
You’ll be able to enter a full-screen browsing mode and scan the whole planet to see where you could fly to – this includes photos of key attractions for the various destinations. You’ll also be able to see price changes based on holidays, day of the week, and month of the year.
Interestingly, Google is also porting its familiar ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ feature from Search into Flights, which Google describes as being like a “travel slot machine.”
This button only appears in the expanded map mode, and when you hit it, Google basically serves up ideas of where to go. However, it’s not left completely to Google’s whims, as you can introduce price and time restrictions to the equation. Hit the button as much as you like, and different suggestions will be delivered each time.
Furthermore, you’ll also now see cards for the most popular destinations within a specific region; for example, if you search for a broad area such as ‘South America.’ Google also says that these destinations will be personalized based on your past searches, second-guessing where it thinks you may like to visit.
Google also plots all this data on a map for easy reading, which includes the lowest fares and flight durations.
These features likely won’t be available for you quite yet, however. Google tells us that this update will be rolling out over the next few days, in all countries where Flight Search is available.
Feature Image Credit – OLIVIER LABAN-MATTEI/AFP/Getty Images