Home Google Flight Search Goes Mobile

Google Flight Search Goes Mobile

Last year, Google added a new category of in-house search results for domestic U.S. flights to Google.com on the desktop. They’re now available on mobile as well. It will take you all the way to checkout, but you can’t buy tickets directly through Google. Yet.

Google acquired ITA Software, a flight info software company, for $700 million in 2010. ITA powers airline websites as well as booking services like Orbitz and Kayak. Google keeps buying up experts in different search verticals, just like it did with Zagat for restaurant reviews, to keep users on Google for online transactions from end to end.

When you first enter a query in Google’s mobile Web search that sounds like a flight, like “flights from Chicago to Daytona Beach,” it shows promoted results from airlines and booking companies as well as new Google results formatted specifically for flights. Clicking through into Flight Search, or visiting google.com/flights, shows full-width fields for “From,” “To” and the date range, and it offers filters for price and duration.

It lets you use your location to make searches faster. There’s also a map-based interface for quickly trying alternate routes.

This will be a nice complement to Google’s new interior maps of airports, which are available on Google Maps for Android now and presumably elsewhere soon. Google is now an all-in-one mobile Web app for the airport. It still doesn’t get to process your ticket purchase, but it can collect valuable data and show plenty of ads along the way.

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