Will Google’s Flight Search Take Off in Europe?
Launched 18 months ago in the USA, Flight Search is Google’s flight-comparison site. Recently announced, Flight Search is now available in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Although Google announced that the site has some convenient search options like being able to see what times are the cheapest to fly, the comparison site is missing pricing information from some of Europe’s airlines.
Previously, users were only able to search for flights originating in the USA to any airport in the world, but now these five European countries are added to the list. To cater to these markets, currency and languages have been tailored to each country. Searches can be performed in eight languages including French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish.
As explained by Google, the comparison site has many advantages. Users can see real time prices and find the best time to book a flight. Travellers can filter through flights by such criteria as price, timing and WiFi access. An interesting feature that I came across when investigating the site is that if you do not have a specific destination but are just looking for a deal, Flight Search allows you to find flight prices from your originating location based on your dates. You can filter these search results by price, duration, timings, airlines and number of stops.
Unfortunately, the comparison site is still limited. In a blog post announcing the service, Noam Ben Haim, a senior product manager at Google, explained that Flight Search is "not able to show results for every single airline," and pricing information is missing from some European airlines including Ryanair and Easyjet. This can be a big issue for travellers as budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet often offer the cheaper flights in Europe. Google says it's working to expand its relationship with European carriers. Haim stated the following,
"Sometimes we are not able to show results for every single airline and we will make that clear. We are working to expand our relationship with other airlines, and bring Flight Search to more countries and in more languages."
Regardless of the site’s current downfalls, Google’s Flight Search is a good alternative flight checker. As Google is able to include more flights from more carriers and spreads to more countries, it will be interesting to see how the comparison site will compare to others in the market. Is it possible that Google Flight Search could be the next Expedia or Kayak?
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