Google poised to launch ITA-powered flight search

Google is poised to launch a series of new ITA-powered flight search products according to influential technology blog TechCrunch.


The report, which the blog claimed comes from a well-placed industry source, outlines several possible search tools that could be released in as little as a few weeks.


The first is a map-based tool that shows flight prices from destinations. This would allow travellers to filter results by destination, stopover locations and prices. Users would also be able to view the results on a map.


Another search tool said to be in development is an integration that filters results using search terms and IP addresses. This would make allow Google to make smarter suggestions based on where the user is physically located.


An example of this would be someone in London searching for “flights to Seattle”. The search would automatically recommend flights from the nearest airport.


The final development expected to emerge is flight search results utlising ITA data. While the search giant already includes airfares this would see the much richer source of ITA pricing data included in search results.


While none of these new features has been officially confirmed by Google they won’t come as a surprise to the industry that has been expecting the search engine to exploit its new ITA arm.


Google made no bones about using ITA data to create new flight search tools to improve user experience when it bought the company for $700 million.


The search engine is restricted in what it is able to do under terms imposed by the US Department of Justice following an anti-trust investigation into the ITA deal.


Google has always insisted it is not interested in becoming a retailer of travel product, but the extent to which these latest moves will threaten those companies already in the sector will be monitored carefully.

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