Google Launches ‘Flight Search’
Ever heard of Google Flight Search? No? In Google’s words, Flight Search “helps you explore air travel options”.
In much the same way you can search for web pages or news results on Google, you can now search for flights.
Here’s what Dennis Schaal or Tnooz.com has to say:
“In a stunning move, Google and ITA Software unveiled their long-awaited Flight Search product — with booking links to airline websites only.”
“At this juncture, at least, it seems to be a worst-case scenario for online travel agencies such as Expedia and Priceline and travel metasearch engines such as Kayak and Bing Travel, which were concerned or fought Google’s acquisition of ITA Software five months ago.”
While Kayak, Expedia and Priceline (among others) may be worried, it’s not all doom and gloom (just yet). Dennis continues:
“Of course, it all depends on how the airline-Google economics work out, and for now Google isn’t providing any details on that.”
This clearly will be the deciding factor in whether it works out for them or not, although the Flight Search interface is a joy to use (check out the video at the bottom for a demonstration).
But will Flight Search be available to everyone? Google has famously been heavily censored in China. Google recently announced:
“Google Flight Search is available on Google.com from anywhere in the world.”
Many of the fears (from a customer’s point of view) were that Flight Search’s results would be affected (as Google Hotel Finder’s results are) by ‘advertising relationships’.
Google been quick to announce that it’s results will “not be influenced by any paid relationships.”
Good to know!
For a few years now, Google Flight Search has been feared and talked about almost as if it were a mythical creature. It seems that the creature is now out of the wilderness for everyone to see, and despite its infantile form if there’s one thing that Google has shown us it’s that it will soon evolve into something great.
So does this mean the end for other travel search sites (such as Kayak.com)? Here’s what Robert Birge, chief marketing officer at Kayak had to say:
“We recognize Google is a formidable competitor but they haven’t been successful in every vertical they entered. We use multiple data sources and proprietary technology, all of which helps us in our efforts to provide people with comprehensive, fast and accurate answers to their flight search needs.”
This is certainly true – Google hasn’t been successful in every area. Robert finishes with:
“We believe our flight search technology is superior.”
Here’s Google’s video about Flight Search:
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