New home for travel news

4/24/2014 02:58:00 PM


We've moved! The ITA Software blog is now the Google Travel Blog. Update your bookmarks and RSS feeds, and we'll see you there for all the latest news from the Google Travel team.

In addition to our blog, you can also follow us on our Travel Google+ page and Twitter.

Travel on.

Google expands Flight Search in Ireland and Poland

3/27/2014 07:37:00 AM

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Whether you live in Ireland or Poland -- Flight Search on Google makes planning your trips fast and easy. You can now access and, or search for flights directly within Google to quickly find, compare and book flights -- and see prices in your local currency and language.

Let’s say you live in Dublin and you’d like to visit Nice, but you’re unsure of the least expensive time to travel. When you click on the departure date field, a calendar pops up with the lowest fare highlighted for each day. You’ll also see the lowest fares graph below the calendar that shows how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events. Scrolling through a couple of months you can quickly see that May is a great time to fly.

Once you select your departure and return dates, you’ll be presented with a list of ‘Best flights’; these represent the best tradeoff of convenience and price. You can always view other flights that might be longer or more expensive by scrolling through the summary list or selecting, 'Show all'.
The Ryanair flight at €52 looks perfect. It’s nonstop, short and inexpensive. You can select your return flight, confirm the number of passengers and simply click on the red book button to complete your purchase on Ryanair’s website.

Our goal is to provide you with fast results as you explore where you want to go, figure out the best time to travel, browse a simple list of the most relevant flights and book your trip. We hope you’ll enjoy planning your next trip with Flight Search!

Posted by David Olliges, Product Manager

Easily find hotels by travel time with Hotel Finder

2/27/2014 12:39:00 PM

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If you’re visiting an unfamiliar city or just want to stay near a specific landmark or location, Hotel Finder can help. Use the search by travel time filter to quickly narrow your options and find the closest hotel -- whether you’re traveling by car, public transit or walking.

Lets say you’ve always wanted to visit the famed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes’ home in London but you’re not really sure which hotels are nearby. Start by going to Enter “Sherlock Holmes Museum, London” and select your dates. In the top left corner of the map, click “Show hotels 15 minutes from...” to filter by travel time. Select 10 minutes by public transit. In less time than it takes to read these instructions, you’ve just narrowed your search from 2000+ choices to less than 200.

If you want to narrow your options further, you can sort by travel time and only hotels with a 4.0+ user rating. Elementary my dear Watson! You’ve further refined your choices to only 33, making it much easier to plan your trip!

We’re very excited about the planning power this gives you, and we hope Hotel Finder makes planning your next trip a little more fun and a lot easier.

Konrad Gianno, Software Engineer

Calendar shopping for flights just got easier

2/06/2014 01:15:00 PM

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Let’s say you want to go skiing in Vail, Colorado this winter, but you’re flexible on when you leave and how long you stay. Try our improved Flight Search calendar from any of your devices to help you quickly figure out the best deal. As soon as you start entering your dates, a new, expanded calendar pops up with the lowest fare highlighted for each day. Select your outbound date and prices update instantly for return dates. You can change stops, length of stay, preferred airline or more -- and prices update instantly, without having to do any extra searches!

To see how prices may fluctuate based on the season, holidays or other events, use the lowest fares graph under the calendar. It lets you scroll through future months to quickly and easily compare airfares across dates. Now you can see low-fare flight options, even if your travel dates are far in the future.

For your Vail trip, as you enter your origin and destination cities, a calendar pops up with lowest fares for each day. If you quickly scan the lowest fares graph below, you’ll see that March is the least expensive time to travel. Select your outbound and return dates. Try restricting the results to non-stop flights and compare the price difference for a 3, 4 or 5 day trip. Now you can make your final selections and book your flight, feeling confident you’ve found the best option for your trip.

We hope the changes we’ve made will help you save time and money! If you haven’t already done so, try our enhanced calendar shopping and lowest fares graph when planning your next trip.

Posted by Rani Manoharan, UI designer, travel

Finding good flight deals just got much easier in Europe

1/22/2014 08:12:00 AM

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(Cross-posted on the UK Travel blog)

Travelers searching for a good flight deal in Europe may have needed to check multiple online sites to be sure they found the lowest airfare and best flight options. Now with the addition of Ryanair flight information in Google’s Flight Search, it is much easier to find the lowest fare -- at lightning speed.

We are delighted that Ryanair, which is Europe’s largest airline and the largest airline in the world in terms of flown international passengers and which is known for its low fares, has joined the Google Flight Search family.

Using Google’s Flight Search, travelers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain (as well as Canada and the USA) can quickly find, filter and compare flights, view prices in their local currency, save the results for later, or book directly with any of our booking partners.

Since we launched Flight Search in 2011, we've worked hard to add new features that make it fun, fast and easy to shop and book airfares
  • Best Flights and Tips - Quickly get the best answers with suggestions for alternate dates, airports, and trade-off between price and convenience 
  • Interactive Maps - users are able to explore possible destinations and view live ticket prices by surfing an interactive map 
  • Saved Flights - Results can be saved to track price changes, helping users make smart booking decisions 
Google Flight Search is fast, easy to use and interactive so business people, parents and star crossed lovers can quickly book their travel and get back to their work, parenting or pining. We want to give users as many flight options as possible, so introducing Ryanair is very exciting. We are working to expand our relationships with other airlines and travel partners to bring Flight Search to more countries in Europe and around the world.

Posted by David Robles Fosg, Partner Development, Travel

China Southern Airlines signs up for QPX air shopping

1/09/2014 07:54:00 AM

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China Southern Airlines, a SkyTeam member and the largest airline in Asia, signed a multi-year agreement to use our QPX™ pricing and shopping technology to improve the international airfare shopping experience for their online users.

With China becoming one of the world's fastest growing travel markets, China Southern Airlines is the first Chinese airline to take advantage of our technology to enhance the overall shopping experience for their customers. “QPX is the most advanced air ticket pricing and shopping engine in the market. QPX will help us innovate our online air ticket shopping and drive our online direct sales, which will allow us to slash distribution costs.“ said Mr. Jerry Hu, CIO of China Southern Airlines.

China Southern Airlines plans to use QPX for international revenue and reward redemption pricing and shopping, as well as ticket exchanges and refunds. The rollout will take place in phases, with the first release expected in Spring 2014. When launched, China Southern Airlines will provide a faster, more accurate and easier to use online air ticket shopping experience for their customers.

To learn more, visit

Posted by Kevin Wang, Strategic Partner Manager, Travel

Virgin Atlantic sees success by improving user flight shopping experience

12/16/2013 10:08:00 AM

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Over the past year Virgin Atlantic completely redesigned and expanded the way they use Google’s QPX™ pricing and shopping technology to simplify and improve the flight shopping process.

Their hard work has definitely paid off, as Virgin Atlantic has seen a significant increase in flight search conversions and the overall value of completed bookings since launch. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic was recently named the Lovie Award’s 2013 Web Futures Gold Winner for Best User Experience

David Bulman, Director of Information Technology, Virgin Atlantic, “One of the biggest benefits we realized since launching QPX is the dramatic increase in booking values. It’s easy for customers to quickly compare the different classes of service and realize the value they can get for different fare families. This means customers are frequently trading up and in fact, booking values on our flight search page have increased over 17% year-on-year. Working with Google and implementing QPX technology played a critical contribution to this success.”

We work with our travel partners, like Virgin Atlantic, to make the travel experience better for our users and help them innovate to accomplish their goals. You can check out the video and details about Virgin Atlantic's recent success. Way to go Virgin Atlantic!

Posted by Nicola Simionato, General Manager, Travel, EMEA & APAC