Google is testing a new way of displaying information about flights, according to one UK-based blogger.
Google already offers basic information about US flights, simply by searching for the flight number. However, Richard Baxter at SEO Gadget stumbled upon a new tool when searching for “Flights to Barcelona”. The display lists departure airports, journey durations and available airlines. Initially showing three results, the list can be expanded to show all available direct routes.
It’s interesting to see that Google is apparently trying this so soon after its acquisition of travel firm ITA was approved in the US. As we reported at the time, “Soon, according to the Google Blog, you’ll be able to search for “flights to somewhere sunny for under $500 in May” and Google’s software will mesh with ITA’s in order to allow you to purchase just that.”
The new flight results could well be a first step towards ITA integration, and it’s interesting to note that a similar, although not identical, test was spotted late last year and hasn’t yet been announced as an official Google feature. We haven’t been able to reproduce the listings, however Google often tests new features on just a small subset of users. We’ve got in touch with the company to see what official information we can unearth.