Remember Google’s recent acquisition of ITA Software – a firm that organizes airline data? It looks like the company has built on it to roll out a new flight search feature called Flight Search that is going to make looking for flights a piece of cake. Yes, the company had been offering flight schedules since May, but this brand new feature is going to be much more than that.
With Google’s new airline schedule feature, you will be able to see a simple list of relevant flights and travel dates that are least expensive (you’ll have to drag the date selector forward or backward for this). You can also compare lots of dates at once on a bar chart. Exploring possible destinations, filtering by airline, flight time, and price will all be possible with this brand new feature. And there is even a map to make things easier!
In a blog post on the feature, Google has mentioned that flights are selected primarily based on cost and total travel time, while including a variety of departure times and airlines. Being rolled out over the course of the day, the feature will initially be limited to some U.S. cities and show results for round-trip economy flights only. If you don’t live in one of those select cities, you’ll have to wait for a while.
If you’d like to see how this feature works, you can give Google.com/flights a visit or just type “flights from (enter the name of) your city to your destination “into Google.com. A lot like Googling, isn’t it? Once you do that, a Flights link will appear on the left side that will lead you to the new Flight Search feature. Over there, you can make changes to dates, destinations, and filters, just like on most travel sites. It’ll be a lot faster, though. Now that’s called ease of use! But we wonder ease of use alone is going to help Google compete with sites like Orbitz, Expedia, and Kayak. If you’ve looked for a flight online, you probably know that it takes more than ease of use; a site with the most airlines and flights in its database looks more appealing.
Though these sites take Google as a formidable competitor, they don’t seem afraid to compete. Kayak, for example, uses multiple data sources and proprietary technology and has its best foot forward; superior flight search technology. So, let’s just wait and see how well Google fares out in this field.