Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Google Introduces Travel Service

You may recall several months ago Google acquired ITA software, positioning the company to introduce more advanced travel services. Yesterday Google posted an insider blog entry providing an early look at their new flight service.

You can watch this brief YouTube video and it will demonstrate exactly how it works. Using the standard Google search page, just enter your travel plans. For example, flights from Newark to St. Louis. Click on the new link flights on the left and you will be presented with a schedule of possible flights. The page has several places where you can qualify your search to more specific. Using drop down menus, select another airport for departure, adjust the travel dates or enter a price range. As you make these adjustments the flight options displayed in the table will automatically update.

Selecting any one of the flights will immediately show all the return flight options and their associated costs.

A truly unique feature is one that allows you to plan without knowing where you want to go. You can use your mouse on the map above the table and by clicking around see how much it costs to travel to different cities. Or you can put in your budget and time allowed for travel and the service will show you optional destinations that meet these criteria.

Once your flights are determined you can book the travel by clicking one button. The service is currently limited to US domestic flights.

Google have once again taken a service to a new height. Leveraging the ITA resources, maps and advanced search technology they have constructed a simple, fast and convenient way to find and book flights.

I have a feeling this service is going to take off.

Captain Joe

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