Cape Town - Google has revealed a new interface for its Google Flights metasearch product - only thing is it's not available globally as yet.
You can see the new experience here though, if you choose the US or UK as your country of origin - since the function has not yet launched in Africa. By doing so you will see pricing in dollars or pounds.
SEE: Travelling to Lagos? Google it!
While changing your location has long been touted as a hack to try and secure cheaper flights (most swear this cheat is most effective booking domestic flights for your intended destination when you're not in the country of origin) - however this doesn't appear to be the case with Google's beta flights booking product.
A quick comparison search via local OTA TravelStart shows a moderate variance in price - with Travel Start coming in at R9 279 for a return from Cape Town to Geneva, Switzerland in the second week of December. The travel time at 36h30min with Qatar is taxing to say the least.
None of the searches are displayed according to cheapest flight options - although the option does exist in the drop-down.
For the US-based Google search the same flight came in at $739 or R10 323 at R13.97/$ and R10 341 at 18.50/£ for a UK search.
AI options front and centre
Skift reports in this beta test, Google appears to be "scaling back its ambition to inspire people to consider new destinations".
"In spring 2016, Google Flights had its last major redesign in which it pushed front-and-center a flexible-destination search interface. From then until now, desktop visitors to the Google Flights interface would see a prominent “Discover Destinations” box. Users could check out possible itineraries by general time periods (like “January” or “weekend”), location (“Africa” or “Johannesburg”), and interest (“honeymoon” or “winter sports”).
Now Google's Flights merely shows three 'popular' destinations from the biggest airport near where Google thinks you are located.