Google Introduces New Flight Search Tool
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) introduced a search tool for shopping for flights on Tuesday to compete with sites like Travelzoo (NASDAQ:TZOO), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), Orbitz (NYSE:OWW), and Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN).
Travelers can search for flights at google.com/flights, filtering them by price, airline, and route. The tool also has a bar chart showing which days are more expensive to fly.
Google has been offering flight schedules since May, but only introduced the site yesterday in a move that has been expected since it bought flight-data provider ITA Software for $700 million earlier this year.
Kayak, Travelocity, and other travel search engines lobbied federal regulators to block the deal, fearing Google would integrate flight searches into its other products and ultimately dominate the travel search market.
There’s no doubt Google’s entry into the market will fundamentally change the customer experience. “This is only the beginning of the transformation of general search into travel search that will save the consumer steps in the travel planning process,” says travel technology analyst Norm Rose.
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However, for now, Google concedes that its new tool is still a work in progress. The site does not yet offer international flights or flights to or from smaller U.S. cities, nor does it offer premium-class tickets.