New Google Travel Teaser

Will…Someone…Please…Tell…Them…To…STOP ROLLING OUT NEW FEATURES! A reader points me to this new feature on Google. Try searching for two destinations – say Madrid Ibiza – on Google. Here's what you see: Now, I was not aware that you could do this – it's a very interesting evolution of Google's…

Will…Someone…Please…Tell…Them…To…STOP ROLLING OUT NEW FEATURES!

A reader points me to this new feature on Google. Try searching for two destinations – say Madrid Ibiza – on Google. Here’s what you see:

Googtravel

Now, I was not aware that you could do this – it’s a very interesting evolution of Google’s service. It works in the US too….

I may have just missed this, perhaps it’s been around a while?

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

16 thoughts on “New Google Travel Teaser”

  1. This airline feature doesn’t work for me 🙁
    But the trains feature works (probably because I’m in Netherlands right now :)). But the train helper is not like the airline one – not that much features.

  2. John, your blog has turned into a Google gossip sheet. I’m used to reading substantive analysis from you, but this is just… breathless observation.

  3. In CH, we also have it for trains since beg of 2005

    This new thing is for me just another instance of what I call “diagonal search”, ie composed of an initial horizontal search captured by the search engine to direct you to its vertical search service where he makes more money that on a generic query.

    Google is doing this quite extensively since a few months: I made a detailed analysis of this with lots of examples (in french, sorry) at http://media-tech.blogspot.com/2005/10/la-difficile-naissance-des-services-de.html

  4. Does anyone know if this is paid or not? If not, how do they select which companies appear? Their largest advertisers? Not the airlines, obviously.

    Anyone seen this for hotels?

  5. While I applaud Google for adding more vertical search to their result pages – thus providing potentially more relevant results to the user – I’m surprised that searching OTAs (Online Travel Agents) like Expedia is Google’s answer. Obviously these results will be refined over time, and I’m sure we’ll see suppliers added to the mix, but right now, they would have provided a better service to their users by defaulting to the travel search engines (meta search engines like SideStep, Kayak, and Mobissimo) while they work out their own system.

    Google is about providing users with information. OTAs like Expedia are closed systems which are contrary to this mission. Expedia doesn’t search independent providers like JetBlue and therefore doesn’t provide as much information as a travel search engine like Kayak, SideStep, or Mobissimo.

  6. As Brian touched on, what good is the Google model of searching Expedia and Orbitz since an increasing number of airlines such as JetBlue, Southwest, EasyJet, and RyanAir are selling all or a part of their inventory only at their own websites? None of those airlines are in Orbitz, Hotwire or Expedia. AirTran also seems to be moving in that direction with their recent press release that they’ve pulled out of Expedia.

    I’m also not sure what the value is when Google adds more OTA’s and even airlines and hotels to their list of sites to click on. Are travelers going to have to click each site separately to see what all their flight options are? If someone is only going to check one site, why not go there directly. On the other hand, if they need to compare all flights and fares, they should use a travel search engine like SideStep and Kayak. To me, the TSE’s have a lot more value than this primitive Google feature. I don’t get it.

    By the way, one travel search engine that was left off Brian Smith’s list is mySmartTrip which targets business travelers and their companies.

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