I created a mock-up mobile app for Google flights for a UX design project. Does anyone have any pain points when it comes to mobile flight search whether on:

  • Google
  • Existing mobile apps like Expedia, Skyscanner, Hopper, FlightAware, etc
  • Existing airline apps like Delta, United, Alaska, etc

Are there features when it comes to your flight search that you wish you could have that you don’t see featured anywhere?

Anything is great feedback thank you. I have created a page for my case study so far if you feel inclined to have a visual understanding of the mobile application. https://loumarar.com/2/

  • 1
    More a feature than a UX issue, but what no usual flight booking UI has and I badly want is "you tell me when is cheapest". Though it seems it's very difficult because of how prices are set...
    – Pablo H
    Aug 9 at 16:17
  • 1
    @PabloH Albeit in a limited timeframe, google flights has a few charts to show prices over time. Top right corner there are the Date Grid, to show the total cost of a certain leave/return date, and the price graph, to show how much x days leaving on x date would cost. They are both incredibly helpful. They even have a popup when relevent showing "you can pay less if you leave on X date" that shows up as soon as you do a search
    – bracco23
    Aug 10 at 11:35
  • Other search engines implemented "anywhere" destinations and "full month" date selection to give you the change of getting the lowest price in a certain period or for a certain destination
    – bracco23
    Aug 10 at 11:36

2 Answers 2


That's going to be tough.

I've skimmed your existing text, and you make it sound like Google Flights is currently not user-centered. That's blankly incorrect. The first thing you've got to realize is that gFlights is very, very good. They built this service with a specific UX approach, over ten years, with millions of dollars of research, and the only reason that gFlights is the first in your list of examples today is the fact that Google built it so well (I'm not a Google fanboy, but credit where credit is due).

So, if you're blindly attacking gFlights and "improve" the design without understanding the thousands of considerations they made for different users, you are going to look unprofessional.

I think you have a chance if you look at very specific niches. Maybe people with only cabin luggage that don't want to pay a fee for non-existing big luggage are underserved? Maybe if you set your language to Greenlandic the long words break the UI?

Check out something like that, and you may have a chance to design a genuine improvement :)

  • 1
    This is a great answer. You sir, are a true professional of the craft. An application designed by the likes of google who has a team of UX experts not to mention people from their Material team should know good UX.
    – jax
    Aug 10 at 7:07
  • 3
    @jax Yes, they should know good UX. But substantial evidence documents they often do not implement good UX. Aug 10 at 9:50
  • You're right. Maybe I worded my response a bit too strongly. In fact, I am sure that the gFlights team missed some UX stuff, even though and maybe because of the large budgets, team and time span. Still think it's wise to assume that the existing UX is already quite good, which is not an assumption I would grant for all the software out there ;)
    – Kolja Sam
    Aug 24 at 9:38
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket Who is 'they'. If you are talking about other lesser companies, then yes - many don't necessarily even have a dedicated UI/UX designer. Instead, they might rely on a few decent full stack devs. However, if you are referring to big companies like Google that can hire teams of UI/UX professionals, then they do in fact have stellar UI/UX. I think you really underestimate have much cash Google can spend on UI/UX.
    – jax
    Sep 22 at 4:04
  • @jax Companies that do not hire (or subcontract) dedicated UI/UX professionals do so at their own peril. Many large companies can (and should) invest heavily in dedicated UI/UX professionals, but alas, many do not. And even for the companies that do, the abilities of the people they hire are sometimes less than stellar. I have been consistently unimpressed with the quality of UI/UX at Google, and that's using the most generous terms possible. Sep 22 at 6:07

A few things I would find useful or more user-friendly:

  1. You added a "round-trip" dropdown (and most travel apps do this). But why ? It seems easier to me to select a departure date, and If I want a return, add a return date. Adding a return date makes it a round-trip search.

  2. Same for "economy": might not be a criteria for a lot of people, and no one will turn down a business-class ticket if it's cheaper than the economy one. If I want a minimum level of comfort, then I would expect to be able to add a filter for it. But that filter doesn't have to be one of the first fields to fill.

  3. A lot of travel apps don't make it easy to edit a search from the results page.

  4. I see you've dropped the pages to search at an unknown date, or see the price graph for a whole month. These are super useful.

  5. A lot of apps let you add several departure cities, But I think no app lets you choose several arrival cities without specifying a departure city. This would be quite useful to me. I understand it's quite niche, but say you're travelling and you have many options where to go now (think interrail or digital nomads), you just need to be at a specific place in a month's time. Then you might want to pick where to go now based on what will be easy/cheap in a month. (I think only Kiwi does that part of the search well if you want to try it, but then their booking experience is much less good)

  6. Include other transport methods (train, bus, car-sharing, ferries). Flying is only one way to get from A to B.

  7. And maybe make it possible to combine methods (e.g. fly to London then train to somewhere else in England, with enough time in between, and insurance if you miss the train because of a late flight)

  8. Also I can't be the only one who's annoyed by low-cost companies advertising great prices, only to have to add expensive luggage. It would make it easier if you could compare what's comparable directly in the search. Say, in your filters, you say "either without luggage or with 1 piece of hand luggage per person" and in the results you get, for each flight, both the price without hand luggage and the price with 1 piece. Though I suppose the data is not easily available for this, otherwise google would have probably done it already.

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