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Google Travel adds new pandemic-related travel planning information

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Better information on flights, hotels, and free cancellations

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the travel industry, but Google is trying to help by adding new tools to its travel tools that flag pandemic-related information for users, like local COVID-19 case counts and whether the hotel offers free cancellations.

New additions include “travel trends” that show what percentage of hotels have availability and flights in operation to that area (using data sourced from prior Google hotel and flight booking). These trends join the existing alerts about whether there’s currently a travel advisory for your destination in Google search.

That information will also appear if you’re using Google Travel when searching for a hotel, flight, or vacation rental. Google Travel is also getting an additional feature that shows if your vacation reservation is offering free refunds — with an additional option to filter your searches exclusively by that criterion.