Google launches Flight Search

Sep 13, 2011
Internet giant Google launched a flight search tool on Tuesday in a potential challenge to online travel services.

Internet giant Google launched a flight search tool on Tuesday in a potential challenge to online travel services.

Flight Search is the first travel product from since its $700 million acquisition of ITA Software earlier this year.

"Since then, our engineering teams have been working closely together to build new travel tools that provide faster, more flexible, and more useful results to online travel searches," Google said in a blog post.

A "Flights" link will appear on the left-hand side of the page when a user types in a query for flight information. Flight Search can also be directly accessed through google.com/flights.

For the moment, Flight Search only offers flights for a limited number of US cities and shows results for round-trip economy-class flights only.

Google said it will add more cities and options later.

Flight Search shows flight options for a selected destination organized by departure time and date, airport, price or airline.

Google, which required the approval of the US Justice Department for the ITA purchase, said the selection of flight results "is not influenced by any paid relationships."

"Airlines control how their flights are marketed, so as with other flight search providers, our booking links point to airline websites only," Google said.

Several online travel sites, including Expedia, Kayak and Travelocity, had sought to block the Google-ITA deal, claiming it would give Google too much control over the lucrative online travel market and lead to higher prices.

The Justice Department's anti-trust division approved the acquisition of ITA by Google in April but imposed conditions on the deal, including requiring Google to continue to license ITA's travel software to other companies.

ITA, a 500-person firm founded in 1996 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology , specializes in organizing airline data, including flight times, availability and prices.

ITA software is used by many US airlines and a number of leading online sites, including Expedia's Hotwire and TripAdvisor, Kayak, Orbitz and Microsoft's Bing search engine.

In July, Google launched Hotel Finder which it described as an "experimental search tool" designed to help users locate and book hotels.

Hotel Finder, which is restricted to the United States for now, lets a user refine their choice by geographic area using Google Maps and select hotels using various criteria including price, the number of stars and user ratings.

Explore further: Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google launches 'Hotel Finder'

Jul 30, 2011

Google, which purchased a leading flight software company earlier this year, has launched a new tool for finding hotels.

Travel sites urge US to block Google takeover of ITA

Oct 26, 2010

A group of online travel firms urged the US authorities on Tuesday to block Google's purchase of flight information company ITA Software, saying it would give the Internet titan too much control over the lucrative ...

Google, Justice Department near deal on ITA

Apr 07, 2011

Google and the US Justice Department are close to reaching a legal settlement over the Internet giant's acquisition of flight data company ITA Software, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

US may challenge Google's ITA buy: WSJ

Jan 13, 2011

The US Justice Department is preparing a potential court challenge to Google's $700 million acquisition of travel information company ITA Software, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Recommended for you

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

26 minutes ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

3 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

Country Web domains can't be seized: regulator

6 hours ago

The Internet's regulatory authority said Wednesday that country-specific Web domains cannot be seized in court proceedings, as it sought to quash an effort to recover assets in terrorism-related lawsuits.

User comments : 0