As the coronavirus continues to spread and countries introduce various travel restrictions, Google has seen an uptick in searches for travel advisories and cancellation policies. In response, it’s making some changes to help users find that information even faster.
When you search for flights, hotels or things to do, you’ll soon see travel advisories or restrictions for your destination. This info will appear on the search results page, at the top of google.com/travel and in Google Maps when you search for hotels. When possible, Google will also link to relevant information from your country’s travel authority.
When you search on Google for flights with a specific airline or visit Google Flights, Google will direct you to a Help Center article with info on fare flexibility. At the moment, that shows links to most major airlines’ policies, which may outline adjusted change fees or cancellation policies. Google warns that this info may change frequently.
Ideally, you won’t need to travel any time soon, but if you are trying to cancel or reschedule plans you made before the coronavirus pandemic, this could be especially useful. If you booked a stay with Airbnb, the company is allowing no-penalty cancellations for stays and Experiences made on or before March 14th, with check-in dates between March 14th and April 14th — though that doesn’t cover mainland China, where normal business could resume as soon as April 1st.