Google Flights Adds WiFi, Legroom and Amenities to Listings

Mar 17, 2015

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Google’s already potent flight search engine has just become even more powerful. Since inking a deal with Routehappy — the “product differentiation platform for air travel” — Google Flights offers more detailed results that will allow you to sort available itineraries based on features like WiFi, on-demand video, and legroom.

Routehappy continuously gathers information about flight amenities by aircraft, cabin, schedule, and route from hundreds of different sources, and compiles that data into a “Happiness Factor,” a sort of grade that serves as a basis of comparison for different flights worldwide. People tend to make price and schedule their primary considerations when searching for flights, but as airlines continue to parcel out a la carte services, in-flight amenities could more commonly be the deciding factor.

“We know people are looking for more information about the flights they’re taking before they buy, so integrating Routehappy Happiness Factors is a great addition to Google Flights, said Gianni Marostica, the Director of Business Development in Google’s Travel division. “Now even more people have access to comprehensive flight amenity data and useful flight search information.”

Here’s a sample itinerary from the new and improved Google Flights:

Google Flights specifies WiFi and other amenities aboard this round-trip itinerary between Chicago and London in May.

Google still organizes results based on price and duration, but now when you click on one of the fight options, you’ll see a much more detailed description. A search for flights between Chicago and London in economy showed me that the least expensive option didn’t include WiFi on the outbound leg, which could make the difference for anyone hoping to get some work done.

You could have made these comparisons on your own previously (by determining the aircraft and consulting with each airline individually), but it would have been a painstaking process. This functionality makes Google Flights much more useful and convenient, which is pretty apt timing considering that only a few days ago I was lamenting the apparent downfall of the ITA Matrix. Google Flights is still nowhere near as versatile, but it’s a lot more intuitive, and these improvements have me hopeful that Google (which owns the ITA Matrix software) might continue to expand its Flights platform.

What do you think of these new features on Google Flights?

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