Google has updated its Flight Search service to support new journeys originating in the UK, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, thereby helping travelers to get the best deal when they want to fly to another part of the world.
Searches can now be conducted in eight languages; English, French, Italian, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Galician and Dutch, and all prices will be listed on the site in the user’s local currency.
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As with most Google products, Flight Search is a service that aims to be both simple and incredibly smart. For instance, after typing in a destination users can click on the price drop-down at any time to filter results by a custom price.
Interestingly, if you search for a larger area – say Australia, for example – the map will show a wide range of relevant destinations, as well as the corresponding prices for flights to the nearest airport(s).
Likewise, once you’ve selected a destination, it’s also possible to find the cheapest possible departure time by clicking on the bar graph icon in the top right-hand corner. This will show all available prices over a four-week period, outlining not only the average price but also the cheapest time to fly.
The hope for Google is that this information will become more than just a jumping off point for travellers. By offering a range of different filters, including number of stops, airline company and flight duration, it’s possible that Flight Search could become a competitor for other travel websites such as Expedia or Trivago.
At first glance, that certainly seems possible. Once you’ve set all of the relevant parameters, Flight Search brings up a list of available flights that can be chosen with a single click. Google then summarizes all of your flight information before offering the relevant payment page via a third-party booking service.
The only caveat, it seems, is that Google hasn’t persuaded every flight company to jump on board just yet.
In a blog post published earlier today, Noam Ben Haim, Senior Product Manager for Travel at Google said: “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.”
Google updated Flight Search back in January, adding the ability to specify broader destinations, such as ‘Florida’ rather than ‘Orlando Florida’.
The service has been built by ITA Software, which was a source of flight information and fares before Google acquired it in 2011. Google had actually announced its intention to acquire the company in July 2010, but was given federal approval more than a year later after it agreed to conditions imposed by the US Government.
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