Even though travel restrictions and guidelines are still changing by the day because of the coronavirus pandemic, that doesn’t mean travelers have to stop dreaming about where to go next. But even if you’re not sure where you want to visit, a new map search feature from USA-based United Airlines is making it easier than ever to compare the options for your next trip.

United Airlines has released a new customizable feature on its website called Map Search, which allows users to apply more than a dozen filters to search flights by price, the type of place you’d like to visit – called Travel Interests – and your departure city. United’s pre-set Travel Interests include beaches, beer and breweries, culture, food and drink, national parks, romantic, and skiing and snowboarding. The results are then displayed on the map, so you can see just how far your budget can get you.

A athletic snowboarder jumping off a cliff on a sunny powder day in Colorado.
Search for a flight to go snowboarding in Colorado. ©Patrick Orton/Getty Images

United says it’s the first US airline to introduce this type of interactive map, which is powered by Google Flights as well as United’s own algorithms. 

“We've reinvented the way people search for flights and introduced something new for our customers that is simpler, provides better results and is easy to use,” Linda Jojo, United’s executive vice president for technology and chief digital officer, said in a statement. “Leveraging the power of Google's Flight Search technology, we are able to provide an all-in-one solution that streamlines the search process and allows our customers to more easily find the flights that work best for them.”

500px Photo ID: 59908268 - Grand tetons from Snake river overlook
Take a trip to Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA. ©Mattias Lindstroem/500px

The airline says that this tool was developed in direct response to customer feedback and that the addition of the National Parks filter was based on heightened interest in visiting natural spaces during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, United Airlines also released a separate interactive map tool that shows COVID-19 travel restrictions within the United States and displays a color-coded map to highlight if a destination is closed, partially open or fully open for travel.

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