Author Archives: Richard Holden

Helping COVID-19 responders find hotels

Meghan is an Intensive Care Unit nurse treating coronavirus patients in Indiana, and she’s been staying at a Hilton hotel with special accommodations for COVID-19 responders. As she explains, "Reducing the risk of bringing something home to my family has made a huge difference in my peace of mind.” 

Across the Atlantic Ocean, in London, Ruby is in a similar situation. She’s a doctor who’s also treating coronavirus patients. "I was really worried about being in the same space as my family,” says Ruby. “I wanted to find a hotel nearby that could host me, but it was difficult to find one.” 

Healthcare professionals, first responders and other essential workers like Meghan and Ruby can now find hotels with special policies for COVID-19 responders—like free or discounted rooms—using Google Search or Maps. For example, they can search for “hotels for essential workers in New York” or “hotels in New York” and narrow the results using a new filter for “COVID-19 responder rooms.”

Pixel3_1up_h4h.png

                                COVID-19 responder hotel room results on Google Search

On Google Maps and google.com/travel, a tip will appear at the top of the results if hotels in the area have a special policy for frontline workers. As on Google Search, there’s a new filter for COVID-19 responder rooms, which will show participating hotels. COVID-19 responders can then call the hotel directly to learn more about its policies and book.

To keep track of which properties are offering special accommodations, we’re working with partners including Choice Hotels International, Hilton, and IHG Hotels & Resorts, as well as the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Our initial efforts have focused on the United States and United Kingdom, and we hope to launch global coverage as soon as possible.

gmm_covid_521_animate (1).gif

Filter and and see hotels with COVID-19 responder accommodations on Google Maps

If you’re a hotel owner and have discounts or special accommodations for frontline or essential workers, let us know by signing into Google My Business and adding the attribute to your Business Profile, or get help from Google My Business support. 

Thank you to all the frontline, medical and essential workers who are helping others during this time and to the hotels hosting these heroes. We hope these updates make it easier and less stressful to find and book hotels if you need to right now.

Stay updated on travel advisories and airline policies


As the spread of COVID-19 continues, we’re seeing more searches for travel-related information—like travel advisories and trip cancellation policies—so we’re making some changes this week to help you find this information faster.


Stay up to date on travel advisories

When you search on Google for information like flights, hotels, or things to do you’ll start seeing COVID-19 related travel advisories or restrictions for your destination, with links to relevant information from your country’s travel authority when possible. This information will appear on the search results page, at the top of google.com/travel, and in Google Maps when you search for hotels. 


advisories_flights_ttd (1).png


Understanding airline policies for flight changes and cancellations

In response to COVID-19, many airlines have adjusted change fee and cancellation policies. When you search on Google for flights with a specific airline or go to Google Flights, we’ll direct you to our Help Center article with more information on airline policies. These policies may change, so be sure to click through to the airline’s website for the latest information.


Flights_flexibileFares (3).png

 

We hope these resources help you stay safe and make the best decisions about travel plans. We'll continue to work on ways to help as the COVID-19 situation evolves.