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Google Flights search feature  (Source: insidesearch.blogspot.com)
The new Flights feature allows users to receive faster results, a simple list of the most relevant flights, other possible destinations according to their search criteria, and more

Last year, Google announced that it was offering $700 million to buy search software firm ITA Software, which provided airline flight information used by Google's search competitors. Later, there were talks of Google buying ITA for $1 billion

A little over five months ago, Google acquired ITA Software and is now offering a new Flights Search feature.

Google launched its Flights Search feature today, which offers additional flight information when searching the topic on Google. Flight schedules have actually been available on Google since May. However, with the Flights Search feature, users can receive faster results, a simple list of the most relevant flights, other possible destinations according to their search criteria, and more.

For instance, if a user searches "flights from Chicago to Denver" on Google, the "Flights" link will be available in the left-hand panel. Clicking on the "Flights" link will quickly set the filters to focus on the user's search criteria and offer airlines, costs, travel times, etc. These filters can also be adjusted to show more flights. 

In addition, customers can type in vague flight searches such as where they can go from San Francisco in a three-hour period for less than $300, and Google Flights will lay out a list of options. 

Google mentioned that it's looking for new partners in the travel industry to broaden this feature, but current paid relationships do not influence flight results.

“The selection of flight results is not influenced by any paid relationships,” said the Official Google Search Blog. “Airlines control how their flights are marketed, so as with other flight search providers, our booking links point to airline websites only. We're working to create additional opportunities for our other partners in the travel industry to participate as well.”

The feature isn't completely finished yet, as it only includes a limited number of U.S. cities as well as show results for round-trip economy-class flights only. But Google plans to continue working on it. For now, the "Flights" link will become available "as is" throughout the course of today.



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Yawn.
By Smilin on 9/14/2011 12:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
So they introduce this feature waaaay after Bing and... it sucks.

Even if you're a die hard Google user at least do yourself the favor of jumping over to Bing if you need to find a flight. I'll leave it to you to discover the price forecaster and all that other fun stuff.




RE: Yawn.
By quiksilvr on 9/14/2011 1:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
1) Bing's search is monumentally slower and takes time to load prices, whereas Google is instant.
2) Bing doesn't tell you how many tickets are left at the price.
3) Changing flight times and schedules involve you clicking to open a new window on Bing, but on Google the change is on the fly and instant.
4) A handy map makes sure you picked the right city visually (very handy for East coast and New England traveling)
5) Calender trip planner lets you automatically adjust what date to leave and keep duration of trip constant.

The only downfall I see using Google's trip planner is that it doesn't let you plan trips that cross over the year. Other than that it is much faster and more streamlined than Bing. The trip predictor is cool, but I guarantee you Google will have something similar in the not too distant future.


RE: Yawn.
By Gungel on 9/14/2011 2:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Best and fastest search engine for flights is still Kayak's flight explorer.
http://www.kayak.com/explore/


RE: Yawn.
By gmyx on 9/14/2011 3:19:44 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know about Bing but Google's is US only. Very limiting considering the amount of international travel.


RE: Yawn.
By Smilin on 9/14/2011 3:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1) Bing's search is monumentally slower and takes time to load prices, whereas Google is instant.

Accuracy counts here. Google is not showing as many flights and bing is searching multiple sites for the lowest price...which it finds and google fails to. Get them on parity then we'll talk speed.
quote:
2) Bing doesn't tell you how many tickets are left at the price.

Neither does Google. You're confusing number of flights with number of tickets.
quote:
4) A handy map makes sure you picked the right city visually (very handy for East coast and New England traveling)

Bing does this as well but also includes the flight price on the cross country lines.
quote:
5) Calender trip planner lets you automatically adjust what date to leave and keep duration of trip constant.

Bing does this as well and the UI is much better (you didn't try the flexible flights I think).

Bing also gives you flight quality searches in case you're interested in redeyes, want to avoid long layovers, etc.

There are more features Bing has than Google that I even care to list. I tried to suggest that you check it out yourself but that clearly didn't work. It may be easy to miss stuff when just "checking it out" as opposed to truly finding yourself a flight.

quote:
I guarantee you Google will have something similar in the not too distant future.
..woulda, coulda, shoulda, oughtta.. Even if Google had it *today*, Bing still had it *yesterday*. I would bet Google copies this sooner rather than later. But if we are going to speculate Google will have it in the future then can we also speculate that Bing will have something else/better by then?

I'm not trying to convert anyone as I would have an easier time flipping someone to a new religion with an email. I'm just calling it how it is:

Bing out innovated Google months ago and now Google's catch up attempt is unimpressive.

Maybe they'll return the favor and kick Bing's butt in a few months. Maybe Bing will leave them in the dust with something else. To deny Bing their dues at this moment doesn't seem objective though. Competition is good...Google was sitting on their bottom before Bing came along.


RE: Yawn.
By Smilin on 9/14/2011 3:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guarantee you Google will have something similar in the not too distant future.

quote:
I would bet Google copies this sooner rather than later.


Ruh roh. We might both be wrong. Scroll to the bottom of this...
http://www.bing.com/travel/about/ourTechnology.do

Mind you we're talking about Google so they might just steal the idea without regard to patents.


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