Amidst a great deal of discussion and protests, Google was recently given the all clear for its acquisition of ITA, signifying to the world that it is indeed pushing further into the travel game to compete with the likes of Bing Travel. Further to this, Google launched late last week their new flights search technology. The new technology however, does not run on the ITA software. While providing information on routes, flight duration and available airlines, it simply serves links to the airline websites of which you must conduct your search again.
While they haven’t ventured into the area of flight prices like they have done with hotel pricing ads in local search results, it appears to make it an easy stepping stone to do so. The biggest loser in the latest update is the online travel agents vying for top spot in organic search results and their share of the traffic. Not only does the latest update push some organic search results further down the page, it also provides links directly to the airlines, which will no doubt take traffic from those competing for it.