Google has launched its flight search service, five months after sealing the acquisition of flight-data outfit ITA Software. Unveiled on Tuesday with a blog post, the service is a means of searching airline schedules. If you type "flights from Chicago to Denver" into Google's main search engine, for example, a "Flights" link ( …
Once again, Google does it better
Wow. Just wow. After fighting with the clutter of Expedia or Travelocity over the years, Google does it again. So simple, so fast.
That's why I wound up with Gmail - it was better than what I had been using. That's why I'm really liking Google+ - it's better and easier than Facebook or Twitter.
Google's success isn't just because of monopolization, it's because they generally create products that work very, very well.
(Google - the Paris Hilton of vertical integration)
What flights out of a city?
I hope Google will let me search for all flights OUT of a given city, no matter the destination. Likewise, let me search for all flights INTO a city.
Maybe I am planning a vacation, and I want to see where I can get with minimum hassle. Maybe I want to see how easily accessible a city is. Maybe I'm just bored.
But all the existing engines will fight like hell to make you plan a trip, rather than just looking around. And of course, you cannot look for a wide range of dates: maybe a given flight only happens once a week, or maybe only in season - how about letting me look for any flights for the next year?
What flights out of a city
I needed the reverse, what flights into an airport. Searching for flights Manchester to Malta on Expedia I was getting stupid expensive routing with multiple stops. Then I looked up the airport website in Malta to find what airlines were flying in from any convenient UK airport. Having seen who was flying in I then went to that airline's website and got a direct flight at a sensible price.
You can try the same, look at the airport departures board, many let you see several day's worth of departures. Having found a destination (and airline) you can use other tools to find costs and availability. But it would be nice to go one step further with automation and be able to ask something like "where can I fly to from XXX on a budget of $YYY in a date range of AAA-BBB" - but is there the demand to justify the development cost?
I don't see how Google showing flight search results from the engine they bought can be a problem, as they don't sell the tickets.
The engine is pretty good actually, you can check it out at http://matrix.itasoftware.com
London - New York ...via Sydney?
I just hope it works better than their current "public transport" option when getting directions from Google Maps. Currently, Preston to Newcastle routes me via Edinburgh, whereas Lancaster to Hull requires a stop off in Birmingham.
THE TERRORISTS MIGHT BE ABLE TO USE IT! OMG! NOOOOO!
SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Foundem should stop bitching and build their own world-beating search engine ...
Same old ...
And it's just as useless as all the other flight search engines. What I'd really like to see is a search for flights from/to a particular area, country or state.
Example: I live in Germany and want to fly to the UK. I might consider MUC, NUE, FRA or maybe another German airport for departure and one of several UK airports as destination, depending on price, availability, convenience etc. With ALL the current search engines I have to ask for each pair individually, which is very time-consuming. Yeah, I know Germany and UK aren't supported at the mo, but the engine still only accepts specific start and destination airports.
Oddly, there are specific entries for "all airports" for some cities, but no way to select all airports that are "near" a given location.
I've often used the ITA system (on which Google Flights is based) and it does offer "near". Next to the Depart and Destination is a "nearby" button, if I ask for nearby "sheffield, united kingdom" and set the distance to 75 miles I get a choice of 8 airports. I can "select all" for the flight search. I can also select "see calendar of lowest fares" and get flights covering a one month timespan. It's saved me about two thousand pounds so far this year by making it easy to choose to travel on days when the flights are not selling well so are at reduced prices. My worry is that by making the information available thru google it will get used more. More demand for those cheaper flights so the airlines needn't discount so heavily.
My next flight I can choose between $180 (SAS) and $1200 (KLM) for a one-way trip but earlier in the year I flew the same start/end points twice with KLM for $300 (return).
Wait a few months, you will have the option
Everything Google launches is in beta
Flight into and out of a city or country
For those that asked for a more generic search capability than pure A to B, SkyScanner does that (http://www.skyscanner.net/). As well as an airport or city, you can specify a whole country for both origin and destination--and a whole month rather than specific days.
There is also a map option where you click on an airport and it shows you all direct and (1-2 hops) indirect flights that it knows about to/from it.
I find it pretty cool and pretty usable, and no, I don't own it :) just trying to help fellow travellers as I feel your pain too.
Non-US flights unsupported
Your search – Detroit to London – did not match any results.
Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently not supported.
Why is this news here in Europe? Delete the item and have another go when all European countries are supported.
Huh... crowd-sourced destinations?
Tried searching for a flight to PVD (Providence) -- typing PVD did not result in the Providence airport.
Then tried Providence, which did come up as PVD. Selected that, and from now on typing in PVD works.
Not sure how this will impact my business travel. Once you're locked in with one of the airlines, for me there's no reason to change to a different carrier.
....going into a shop called a travel agent's and asking the chap in the blazer behind the counter to look up flights for you while you browsed the brochures? (un)happy days!
This is the move that the industry has been waiting for!
Some interesting features such as the 2 dimensional fare filter using a scatter chart.
Noticed that tahito.com (fare search for the UK market) uses this type of display but for its main fare selection functionality as opposed to a filter.
The existing fare comparison sites will need to come up with some innovative functionality to ward off google, although they seem to have a bit of time as google don't seem to have the content ready for UK and Europe.
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