Google Search Flight Schedule Implementation is Underwhelming at Best

We’ve all been waiting to see what cool stuff Google would do once it closed its recent purchase of ITA Software, and now we’ve seen our first change. How awesome is it? It’s not. At all.

Now, when you do a search for something like “LA to Chicago,” you get this:

Google Flight Search Results

That’s right. It just gives you a big, gnarly list of the nonstop flights that operate within the next week. There is no fare information and there is very little detail. It only shows the departure time, arrival time, airports, airline, flight number, and days of operation. In other words, it’s just straight schedule information and that means it’s not even using ITA Software for anything. (I should note that this doesn’t dominate the whole page – you have to click a box to expand the results.)

So, who does this help? Um, I guess someone who needs the next flight to Chicago? Google says in a blog post that this can help people plan summer vacations. Give me a break. It doesn’t give availability or pricing information at all. That makes it completely useless. It’s certainly far less useful than the previous setup which had a search box that you could use to find fares on a few different websites.

What if you really do just want flight schedules? Isn’t it somewhat helpful? Not really. I mean, it only works for travel within the next week. I tried “LA to Chicago August 10” and nothing came up. In fact, most of the results on the first page were for restaurants while a couple were about Cubs/Dodgers games. There wasn’t a single travel-related result.

This is also only available if you type in cities with nonstop flights. I tried “LA to Birmingham” and got nothing. The first two results were for the LA Quinta Inn in BIRMINGHAM. The only air travel-related result was for FareCompare down toward the bottom.

I honestly can’t figure out why Google bothered with this. It’s usefulness is minimal at best, and it certainly doesn’t deserve a spot at the top of the results. Let’s just hope that when Google does start implementing some of what ITA can do, it’s a lot better than this.

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30 Comments on "Google Search Flight Schedule Implementation is Underwhelming at Best"

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Sam
Guest

Is there somewhere else where you can just as easily, or more easily, find out all the non-stop flights from your home city?

I can fly but I have a fear of changing planes — getting stranded in an intermediate city, losing my luggage, etc. — so I hardly ever fly unless I can do it nonstop. And finding out all the nonstop routes from A to everywhere is the one thing this new Google service seems to do well.

Hari
Guest

Well, Kayak (www.kayak.com) lets you search for only nonstop flights on all airlines (just like google only better), and pretty much every airline webiste and expedia, orbitz and others can easily filter out any flight with stops.

Joe Jones
Guest

http://www.openflights.org does the job pretty well, and even gives you a nice map.

Eric
Guest

But it is flipping fantastic for all the airline employees flying standby. Not only does it give every option to get between A and B, it lets you know every possibility to get to a place and, when you get stuck there, every possible way to get home. I just wish they let you add “on xxx date” to the search query, or perhaps mapped the day of week to the days of the month, with arrows to scroll forward and back.

Stef
Guest

@Sam: Yes, but couldn’t you just do the same thing at a “conventional” flight search website by checking the “direct flights only” box? With the benefit that you also get the prices etc.

Simon
Guest

Confirm this is working in the UK as well. Personally, I think it’s really interesting – clearly it’s just the beginning – potentially another money-spinner for the big G.

I do agree though, a little pointless to buy ITA Software just for this; although with a bit more integration it could provide some good advantages.

Danny Kenya
Guest

Totally agree with a few points here and Simon has hit the nail on the head by saying that this is just the start of things to come. Google loves to throw things out there in “beta” stage to get opinion and gauge reaction, this will then change, change more then change again to the real deal

Sanjeev M
Guest

They need flight status info ASAP. (or maybe they have it?)

Xandrios
Guest

The ITA deal only happened last month; it is very safe to say that this feature has nothing at all to do with ITA. In other words, the final implementation powered by ITA is yet to come.

TJ
Guest

I actually don’t mind Google’s implementation of this… It allows me to see when exactly non-stop flights occur between two cities – and then I can go to another site to try to get good prices for those flights. Often I search for specific flights only to realize that it doesn’t operate on that specific day. Also, looking forward to seeing what they do with ITA.

David SF eastbay
Member

OK I’ll be stupid, where is it grabbing all the flight info from and how accurate is it?

Endre
Guest

I can get all this from FlightStats.com and it gives me scheduled/possible delays also on the flight in a nice GUI page. Now.. may be .. just may be.. if Goggle could figure out the sex, name, age, mariage status, haircolor, eyecolor, weight, brasize (if female) for the flight attendants on the flights… now .. we are talking…

maxe
Guest

Why so cranky, Cranky? It is just a start. Or are you afraid it might meddle with your business? One finds it very interesting and useful, right out of the browser, no site to go into, and being bombarded with even more advertising, more cookie info gathered, more privacy lost… Ah. I forget. We are looking at the American market. The only one in the known Universe.

jaybru
Member
Of course, all this drives me, nothing but an airline customer, crazy. And I blame it all on the airlines…no one else. 1. Dupicative numbers (code shares) for a single flight, and flights that are listed in the OAG with an asterisk. My printed OAG has about doubled now that nearly every UA and CO flight has a code-share number. And, any “operated by” flight listed with an asterisk…like, can you tell, reading the OAG, who is really operating the flight? 2. Change-of-gauge flights. Looks like a through flight, until you check the “asterisk” to discern you actually have to… Read more »
Jeremy
Guest

This has worked (properly) on BING for a long time…..
http://www.bing.com/search?q=la+to+birmingham&go=&form=QBLH&qs=n&sk=

Nick Barnard
Member

Interestingly the mobile website doesn’t list this.

Jeremy
Guest

PS… Off Topic?

What I REALLY want is a way to search by fare….
I live equal distance from SFO, OAK and SJC…
This last weekend the better half and I wanted to get out of town, didnt really matter where we went, just wanted to go….

I really wish there was a place to just say “Find me all the flights leaving from SFO in the next 24 hours and sort by the lowest price…..”

Nick Barnard
Member

Google has brought printe time tables into the 21st century. Who knew we still needed printed time tables?

stan
Guest
i’ll tell you why this is a bit useful… flights like LA to chicago, which leave many many times a day are easy to find. but let’s say i want to go from JFK to rio de janeiro. if i use google i find this: Valid through Jun 8 6:15 pm ? 5:29 am JFK-GIG S M – W T – S TAM 8079 9:30 pm ? 8:40 am JFK-GIG S – – W T F S American 255 what have i learned? i learned that JFK – GIG on american does not fly on M and T. this is… Read more »
David SF eastbay
Member
Stan Valid through Jun 8 6:15 pm ? 5:29 am JFK-GIG S M – W T – S TAM 8079 9:30 pm ? 8:40 am JFK-GIG S – – W T F S American 255 Stan how funny you picked that as an example, as starting June 9 AA goes JFK-GIG daily for summer as flight 973. So since it only gives you a within the week schedule, a person could think that schedule is what AA does all the time. Shows you have to keep trying everyday to see the next day (within a week) or use some other… Read more »
stan
Guest

i think google will make this service more useful in the future

and i have no idea why i chose JFK-GIG as my example, i just picked a destination that i thought might not have an every-day schedule. but my point stands. i was once trying to find JFK-PSA flights, wasn’t thinking too hard, and it took a little trial and error to figure out why i couldn’t leave tuesday.

David SF eastbay
Member

I just noticed now that I’m checking it out, that it does give info past a week depending on the market.

Checking Vision Airlines and you get schedules until July 31.

Singapore to Sydney until June 13.

Now I’m wondering why? Why are most of what I check within the next week, but other markets give schedules for more days out?

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