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Google Unveils Flight Search

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the where's-the-no-loud-babies-checkbox dept.

Google 69

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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embrace (-1, Offtopic)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 3 years ago | (#37392738)

Reduce.

Profiteer.

Fail.

Extinguish.

Ask self, "But we have such a culture of smahtness surely it must be someone else's fault and not just that we got lucky with a good idea and excellent backing back in 1997?"

Rinse.

Re-buy.

Repeat.

Please use Google+ please please please. More control and information please.

Re:embrace (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37392774)

Cocaine is a hell of a drug

Re:embrace (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37392804)

Cocaine is a hell of a drug

If you're a nigger.

Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393292)

I am very sorry, but this service currently serves only those living inside the U.S. of A.

Re:Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about 3 years ago | (#37393398)

No, it only serves people who want to travel from one part of the U.S. of A. to another part of the U.S. of A. There are people who live outside of the U.S. of A. who sometimes like to travel from one part to another. And shockingly there are people living inside the U.S. of A. who sometimes like to travel outside of it.

Re:Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37394212)

There are people who live outside of the U.S. of A. who sometimes like to travel from one part to another.

Terrorists.

And shockingly there are people living inside the U.S. of A. who sometimes like to travel outside of it.

Traitors.

That sound you hear... (1)

oliverk (82803) | about 3 years ago | (#37392782)

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

Re:That sound you hear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37392834)

You mean like this [youtube.com] ?

Not ready for the mile-high club (3, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37392794)

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...

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (2)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 3 years ago | (#37392820)

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.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37392836)

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"

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37394544)

I spent time last weekend talking to an ITA software engineer, and the amazing thing wasn't that he got laid off. The amazing thing was that they ever *hired him in the first place*, because he spent 2 hours going over all the bureaucratic tricks he used to protect his job (such as not documenting his work and deliberately obfuscating his code.)

I'd expect a huge turnover of staff there, as Google shoves its less talented and bored developers and managers out of their most effective groups and dumps them on the former ITA business. And sadly, I expect this to to raise the average quality of service and software at *both* companies, unless the notably poor performance of ITA's tools and staff succeed in poisoning Google's quality and reputation for making things work.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 3 years ago | (#37400570)

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 break :P

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37392864)

blair1q's a travelling Jew? Colour me surprised.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37393516)

who said i was travelling?

and who said i was a jew?

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 years ago | (#37399628)

The munchkin voices in his head?

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

wetpainter (2271496) | about 3 years ago | (#37392918)

And consider this a USA only release at this time...

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (4, Informative)

blamanj (253811) | about 3 years ago | (#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:Not ready for the mile-high club (1, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about 3 years ago | (#37393478)

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.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (3, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37393528)

Much more fun to rush out the crazy failure mode, and then not provide in-tool documentation, but expect everyone to have read J. Random Blog for training.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 years ago | (#37399226)

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.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 3 years ago | (#37394290)

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.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 years ago | (#37399026)

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.

Re:Not ready for the mile-high club (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37400672)

I just drive up to the mountains.

Does this mean Google Maps will update? (4, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 3 years ago | (#37392802)

Because I'm getting sick of Jet Skiing across the Atlantic Ocean.

Re:Does this mean Google Maps will update? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 years ago | (#37400674)

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? (4, Insightful)

mr100percent (57156) | about 3 years ago | (#37392806)

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.

Re:Bing? (2)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37392850)

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

Re:Bing? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 years ago | (#37400764)

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? (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Bing? (1)

Rehnberg (1618505) | about 3 years ago | (#37393760)

But only pre-1923. Nothing else will ever be public domain.

Re:Bing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37396060)

So Google is finally copying Bing's features?

It always puzzled me, why did Microsoft name their search engine after a character in Friends?

Re:Bing? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 3 years ago | (#37397266)

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
Calculus, Armitage, Johnson and Grant. $199.99 Wiley

===
P.S. Wolfram Alpha actually does this [wolframalpha.com]

As usual (1)

slasho81 (455509) | about 3 years ago | (#37392910)

US only.

Re:As usual (1)

arose (644256) | about 3 years ago | (#37393532)

Try Hipmunk [hipmunk.com] .

News from the future (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 3 years ago | (#37392920)

Google kills Flight Search and ten other apps

Bing! (4, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | about 3 years ago | (#37392988)

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:Bing! (-1, Troll)

icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37393192)

I know I'll get modded down

You should just because of this manipulative shit.

Re:Bing! (1)

Altus (1034) | about 3 years ago | (#37398792)

since a guy 2 posts up actually did get modded down for saying the same thing, I think the grand parent might have a point.

Re:Bing! (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 3 years ago | (#37399952)

I know I'll get modded down

You should just because of this manipulative shit.

There's a lot of anti-Microsoft hate on Slashdot. It's been my experience that posting anything pro-Microsoft... especially in a thread about Google or Apple gets you modded down. My post has gotten modded down and up several times. And yes, several other posts that mentioned Bing without the disclaimer I put out got modded down for no reason as well.

Re:Bing! (1, Flamebait)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 years ago | (#37393252)

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.

Re:Bing! (2)

chrb (1083577) | about 3 years ago | (#37393586)

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] . In particular, their date drop down allows you to select "view whole month", which will show the cheapest flights by day, and they manage to bypass and scan the budget airline sites that try to block flight search engines (e.g. the world's largest international carrier Ryanair is notorious for this). It shows the flight with fees and confirms the price before providing you with a link to the actual vendor. And you don't need to register with their site or buy the tickets through their site - it's just a search engine.

Re:Bing! (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | about 3 years ago | (#37396198)

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

Re:Bing! (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 3 years ago | (#37400028)

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.

Re:Bing! (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 3 years ago | (#37400062)

Sorry that post got formatted wrong... reposting :-(

Re:Bing! (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 3 years ago | (#37400044)

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.

Re:Bing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37418288)

I like momondo.com for similar reasons.

Re:Bing! (1)

harmic (856749) | about 3 years ago | (#37394684)

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?

Re:Bing! (1)

socsoc (1116769) | about 3 years ago | (#37394930)

Yes, you can compare prices of the airlines and book a flight (redirected to the carrier's website) through it.

Re:Bing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37398712)

>but Microsoft's Bing search engine has been doing flight searches quite nicely for a time.

And where does Microsoft buy that search service to put in Bing?

It shouldn't surprise you.
This feature will be in all searches soon.
As soon as Google buys the rest of the companies.

wow what did we do before google? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 3 years ago | (#37393058)

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.

Re:wow what did we do before google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393316)

How much is Google paying you to make its critics look like idiots with that kind of hyperbole?

Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently... (1)

j-beda (85386) | about 3 years ago | (#37393078)

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

drat.

I suppose they will be eventually.

Re:Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393198)

FFS! use the original nd much powerful tool they are Glomming off of.
http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Re:Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393560)

You're lucky if locations *inside* the US are even supported. As of last year, my local airport was the 93rd busiest airport in the country in terms of enplanements, according to the FAA. Google is the only site I've ever seen with flight schedules that doesn't include my airport, which on average boards a little over 2,200 fare-paying passengers daily.

Majorly broken (1)

rossz (67331) | about 3 years ago | (#37393100)

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.

Re:Majorly broken (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 3 years ago | (#37393214)

I'm able to change my origin airport...

Re:Majorly broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37395186)

the dickhead who didn't RTFA about "select US Airports"

Re:Majorly broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37395466)

SelectED US airports.

"Select" is a verb; "I select the airports to display". Once I have done this, they are selectED.

Is the "new" ITA still using Lisp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393260)

This place used to be a Lisp wizards hangout.

Will Google dump Lisp and use only Java? (ITA was Java + Lisp + whatnots)

Budget airlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393270)

Since Google has a phenomenal track record with scraping, I hope they can start including info for some of the budget airlines that aren't typically seen with sites like Kayak, Orbitz and Expedia.

Airlines like Southwest and Allegiant Air

Inter-country flights only (1)

Dunge (922521) | about 3 years ago | (#37393300)

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

will they release an API ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393420)

Maybe google releases an API so apps likeTravel Budget ( travelbudget.inevo.pt ) become a reality.

AI + flight prices = travelling much more

use the base software! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37393442)

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

Yeah... (1)

Larryish (1215510) | about 3 years ago | (#37394228)

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.

No flights outside U.S. (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about 3 years ago | (#37394356)

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...

Useful Shortcut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37397400)

I was looking for information on where a one-stop flight made its stopover, and typing the airline and flight number into Google yielded the information along with the actual times of the last time it ran. This is right up there with basic weather and unit conversion in terms of useful shortcuts they've provided.

Sticking with Hipmunk - probably (1)

6Yankee (597075) | about 3 years ago | (#37397748)

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 occasionally trigger MS Project flashbacks. ;)

Oh FFS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37398086)

Your search – Toronto to Vancouver – did not match any results.
Sorry, locations outside the U.S. are currently not supported.

Add this to Google Music, Google Voice for Canadians.

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