Google recently launches its new travel search engine that features the best prices available for flights only between the U.S. competitors including Microsoft, and other travel services that were opposed to the $676 million acquisition of the airline fare tracker ITA Software.
How Google Flight Search Works
When users enter keywords such as “flights from Los Angeles to New York”, a “flight” tab will appear on the left. Users can also get flight searches through http://www.google.com/flights. Flights are sorted by travel date, time, airline and price. After selecting flights, users can choose “book” and then are redirected to purchase the flight from the selected airline’s website. The service is not yet available for flights outside the U.S. It is only available for large U.S. destinations in the economy class.
The search tool only displays flights from participating airlines. Also, when users click through to book flights from the search engine’s service, Google will receive an affiliate fee from travel websites.
Google wants to make it convenient, easier and quicker for flyers to find the best prices being offered by airlines.
Should Kayak, TripAdvisor, Expedia or Orbitz be Worried?
Many travel companies use ITA, the world’s largest airline search software company. These travel search companies raised concerns when Google bought ITA. They feared it could favor Google and cause challenges for them in their own system. Google is required to license ITA Software to other companies until 2016. Google adding an air travel feature could either hurt or help other travel search players. We will have to patiently wait and see the next earnings report from the other travel sites.
Check out and watch the video how Flight Search is used!