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Google Transportation

Google Unveils Flight Search 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the where's-the-no-loud-babies-checkbox dept.
Google announced today the availability of Flight Search, the product of their acquisition of ITA Software last year. "Starting today, when you search for flight information on Google, for example 'flights from Chicago to Denver,' you will see a 'Flights' link in the left-hand panel. This link leads to our new Flight Search feature, and is offered in addition to the flight schedules which have been available since May." Google says they're continuing to develop the service, and added that the results are "not influenced by any paid relationships."
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Google Unveils Flight Search

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  • ...is Kayak's Darth Vadar "NOOOOO!" scream.

  • by blair1q (305137) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @07:08PM (#37392794) Journal

    It's also not influenced by any results.

    I just checked a 1-stop round trip I booked last week, and instead of the dozens of options that Expedia and Travelocity offered, this thing gave me bupkis.

    It also tried to force my local airport into the From box, even when I had entered another. How can I fly from two airports two thousand miles apart?

    Consider this a Google pre-Alpha release...

    • It's also not influenced by any results.

      I just checked a 1-stop round trip I booked last week, and instead of the dozens of options that Expedia and Travelocity offered, this thing gave me bupkis.

      It also tried to force my local airport into the From box, even when I had entered another. How can I fly from two airports two thousand miles apart?

      Consider this a Google pre-Alpha release...

      It claims my local airport, with about 20 flights to major hubs daily, has 0 flights anywhere. The interface updates quickly, which is nice, but the level of information available just can't compete with Bing.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        and _then_, when i enter a mythical round-trip and click the "Book" button and it forwards me to the airline's webpage, all the selections are gone and I get to choose from a list of flights again

        google may "don't be evil", but it's nowhere near "don't be suck"

      • by rwa2 (4391) *

        Hmm, looks interesting, but even though I'm a Google fanboi, I'll probably stick with:

        http://kayak.com/ [kayak.com] for searching flights (check out http://kayak.com/explore [kayak.com] ! )
        http://flightaware.com/ [flightaware.com] for tracking flights (what is that plane that just passed overhead? Where is my connecting flight arriving from?)
        http://tripit.com/ [tripit.com] for itinerary scheduling / calendaring / alerting

        All have pretty nifty Android / iOS apps as well... Google Market doesn't list anything for their Flight search as of this my lunch b

    • And consider this a USA only release at this time...
    • by blamanj (253811) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @07:48PM (#37393056)

      From the Google blog:

      You may notice that at the moment we include a limited number of U.S. cities and show results for round-trip economy-class flights only.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by icebike (68054)

        You expect people to RTFA? This is slashdot. You must be new here...

        Much more fun to rush in an post some crazy failure mode.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        You may notice that at the moment we include a limited number of U.S. cities and show results for round-trip economy-class flights only.

        Oddly, I thought Google acquired ITA which was one of the premier sites for flight data so they should have that information at hand. If they were building from scratch then maybe they'd be excused, but they bought an entire company specializing in this.

    • Completely off-topic, but apparently it's almost impossible to join the mile high club in the US anymore after 9/11 slate [slate.com] has more info. If we cannot have sex on airplanes, than the terrorists have already won.
      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Completely off-topic, but apparently it's almost impossible to join the mile high club in the US anymore after 9/11 slate has more info. If we cannot have sex on airplanes, than the terrorists have already won.

        I think there are private GA flights that let you do this - basically one guy had a Piper with a bed instead of seats (and brand new bedsheets). You basically rented the plane and pilot, and they flew to 5500 feet or so for an hour or two.

  • by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @07:08PM (#37392802)
    Because I'm getting sick of Jet Skiing across the Atlantic Ocean.
    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Actually, it would be nice if it could plan a trip and even suggest airports based on planned time of arrival and proximity of both the departure and arrival airports.

      If I want to be at 123 Abc drive in LA at 4PM on Saturday, and I'll be leaving from my house, it would be nice to find out that I can avoid an 8-hour layover by driving to a different airport 20 minutes further away from my house, or whatever. Combining the two databases makes that possible.

  • Bing? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @07:09PM (#37392806) Homepage Journal

    So Google is finally copying Bing's features?

    I don't quite mind, if Google starts copying Wolfram Alpha we may get LCARS one day.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      And if it starts copying Cleverbot, we may get freakin' Unicorns one day...

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        User: What is five plus three?

        Cleverbot: Seven.

        User: That's clever!

        Cleverbot: What does 'réseau' mean?

        User: Your guess is probably almost as good as mine...

        Cleverbot: My guess is better.

        User: Better in a five plus three way?

        Cleverbot: In the way of two words being conjoined as one.

    • Re:Bing? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @08:10PM (#37393224)

      Hahaha, wow. Someone points out, truthfully, that Bing has had this feature for a while now and gets modded as a troll for it. Stay classy, Slashdot.

    • by Rehnberg (1618505)
      But only pre-1923. Nothing else will ever be public domain.
    • I don't quite mind, if Google starts copying Wolfram Alpha we may get LCARS one day.

      You asked for the series expansion of the Complete elliptic integral of the second kind about x=-1.

      Did you mean the about x=1?

      See search results for Complete elliptic integral of the first kind
      See search results for series expansions
      See more on elliptic integrals.

      Great deals for:
      Infinite Series Expansion by A.Abramovitz and G. Cook, $54.99, Amazon
      Buy Tables of Integral Tranforms, G.Ivarovitznik MSU, $768.99, Ivory Tower
      Calc

  • US only.
  • Google kills Flight Search and ten other apps

  • Bing! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by adisakp (705706) on Tuesday September 13, 2011 @07:42PM (#37392988) Journal
    I know I'll get modded down for the but Microsoft's Bing search engine has been doing flight searches quite nicely for a time. Type in a flight query with dates and it will have a selection to choose matching flights at the top of your search results. You can even limit by take off or arrival times and it has a pretty good "price predictor" to tell you whether to buy now or wait (and what is the likelihood of the cost going down). They have good price history tools and charts too.

    If you want to find a good price on a domestice flight, the price history is great to see what days the airlines "price pulse" that route.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by artor3 (1344997)

      And another one. That's two people who have been modded down for having the gall to point out that Microsoft has been doing this for a while. It's actually pretty funny that the anti-MS trolls are so fully of hate that they actually try to cover up the truth when it doesn't fit with their preconceived notions.

    • by chrb (1083577)

      It is true that you can search flights on Bing www.bing.com/travel/flight [bing.com], but if you check the results at the bottom of the page it says "Results powered by KAYAK.com". So technically it's not Bing's search engine that is giving you the results - the Bing page is just a front end to Kayak's search engine. Does it matter? Maybe the user experience is similar, but it says something that Microsoft outsourced their travel search engine instead of developing it inhouse.

      I've had good results with SkyScanner [skyscanner.net]. I

      • Thanks for the heads up on skyscanner, I've been looking for something like that.

      • by adisakp (705706)

        It is true that you can search flights on Bing www.bing.com/travel/flight [bing.com], but if you check the results at the bottom of the page it says "Results powered by KAYAK.com". So technically it's not Bing's search engine that is giving you the results - the Bing page is just a front end to Kayak's search engine. Does it matter? Maybe the user experience is similar, but it says something that Microsoft outsourced their travel search engine instead of developing it inhouse. Kayak is enormously frustrating with the way it opens multiple windows, searches through popups, and redirects you to different sites. It feels clunky and not "legitimate" because most serious sites don't popup so much stuff and leave orphan browser windows all over your desktop.

        The USER EXPERIENCE with Bing is much better than Kayak and IT DOES MATTER. Bing presents all the data in one spot right unobtrusively from a common search without a bunch of extra annoying popup windows... and thing's like adjusting the time and seeing the fare relative to specific time windows is in real-time rather than a re-search. It might be a "skin" on Kayak data but the frontend in Bing is much better.

      • by adisakp (705706)

        It is true that you can search flights on Bing www.bing.com/travel/flight [bing.com], but if you check the results at the bottom of the page it says "Results powered by KAYAK.com". So technically it's not Bing's search engine that is giving you the results - the Bing page is just a front end to Kayak's search engine. Does it matter? Maybe the user experience is similar, but it says something that Microsoft outsourced their travel search engine instead of developing it inhouse.

        Kayak is enormously frustrating with the way it opens multiple windows, searches through popups, and redirects you to different sites. It feels clunky and not "legitimate" because most serious sites don't popup so much stuff and leave orphan browser windows all over your desktop. The USER EXPERIENCE with Bing is much better than Kayak and IT DOES MATTER. Bing presents all the data in one spot right unobtrusively from a common search without a bunch of extra annoying popup windows... and thing's like adjus

    • by harmic (856749)
      Hmm... thats weird. Just tried http://www.google.com.au/?q=flights+from+mel+to+syd [google.com.au] (ie using google Australia) and it also includes a selection of matching flights at the top of the search results. Is this new feature something other than this?
      • by socsoc (1116769)
        Yes, you can compare prices of the airlines and book a flight (redirected to the carrier's website) through it.
  • the internet phht no one used that garbage, thank god google was there to whore out or personal information while jamming our machines with 85,000 flash ad's every single page.

    I mean how did I ever live before, I remember a time when I could search for sinewave and it would not jam up my machine for a moment in javascript to suggest Six Flags.

    Google you suck.

  • Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently not supported.

    drat.

    I suppose they will be eventually.

  • I just tried to do a quick check and it won't let me do a thing. I want to check for flights from Maui, HI, to San Francisco, CA. It won't let me change the origin. It insists that the origin must always be where it thinks I am. So that means I can't look up flights for a friend who is currently in Hawaii.

    Whatever they paid for this abortion of a web service, it was too much.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    just use http://matrix.itasoftware.com/ from the beginning, do not fool with Googl's "improvements"

    you can search from multiple local airports to multiple destination airports over a month's span for the lowest price.

      World WIDE

  • How about "Grope Search"?

    Google will email you to let you know when the good looking TSA agents are working, so you can opt for a pat-down.

    Of course a new service has bugs. Really you will end up with Fat Wanda or the stinky guy who looks like Joe Pesci.

  • First flight I tried:

    Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently not supported.

    Almost pointless, as far as I'm concerned.  I wonder why they would start this way?  Obviously they'll do it eventually...
  • I'm outside the US and haven't got the time to experiment right now. But from TFA (I know I know) and the screenshot, it just looks like pretty much everything else out there. I don't really see what they've done that's new, other than integrating with their search box.

    Personally, I think I'm going to stick with Hipmunk [hipmunk.com] for the moment unless Google can somehow get Ryanair, Easyjet and company in there. Hipmunk's chart-style presentation of the flight results really does work for me, even if it does occasion

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