Now Google Travel Planner
Google has made the right move in travel planning. After a successful integration of the travel software company ITA into technology leader Google, the latter has made what amounts to a promising down payment on more ambitious travel search tools with its new Flight Search.
In the words of Google’s head of travel, Rob Torres, “When you look across the phases of the travel cycle – Dreaming, Researching, Booking, Experiencing and Sharing – the potential for innovation, particularly in the early stages of dreaming and researching, is astounding.” Google has smartly taken over the role of innovator. Limited to US cities for now, Google Travel Planner is perfect for those either residing in the US or soon planning a long range trip to the country.
At google. com/ flights, users can search between major US cities and Google lists flights and fares, with the help of much innovative filters unlike other travel search sites. The search can be easily narrowed down with tools like: a calendar, a slider that filters time and price, and categories on the left hand side for selecting the number of stops, frequent flyer programs and preferred outbound/ inbound times. Google also performs the final job of taking the user to airline’s site for booking, once the user has finalized the suitable fares.
This new feature of Google also allows open- ended searches for users who still have broad and vague travel ideas. To cover up this uncertainty, the Flight Search map provides destinations within certain time and cash boundaries. This function is performed by Google’s unique innovation of ‘ limits’ slider graph. These sliders are adjustable by the user to determine the price in relation with the length of the flight.
Travel plan is not complete without the perfect hotel bookings along with the flights. Google Flight Search enables the use of the ingenious feature of ‘ hotel finder’ by simply using the mouse cursor to highlight the desired area or neighbourhood the user wants to stay in. Within speed of light Google displays the rates of hotels located in the marked area by the user. This feature even provides a comparison of rates of that particular hotel with the average rates of hotels in the area.
Thus, reliable results can be obtained by a variety of smart filters on Google Travel Planner – connections, airlines, time of arrival and departure, price and duration. An easy to seek feature of calendar is made so much user friendly that in a single glance a variety of dates can be analyzed. Moreover, it also facilitates to choose a departure airport, duration and price limit, and Google will find destinations based on user’s individual specifications.
In near future, Google is certain to be making hotel search results an integrated part of its general search. But Google finds the biggest growth opportunity in mobile search. As the number of mobile users researching travel is expected to grow to 51 percent in 2012, experts have forecasted Google integrating hotel rate information into the Maps tool on mobile devices, allowing travellers to see properties near them with real- time availability for quick booking. Way to go for travel enthusiasts!