Now Google Travel Plan­ner

Enterprise - - Contents -

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!

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