Google Flight’s flight comparator will put an end to the ability to book airline tickets directly from its interface. The platform that has been a real shortcut in user searches and that has overshadowed all other services, will not be no longer available in Europe from 30 September.
The company announced it in what would have been an abandonment for her, lack of popularity of his service. “We finally realized that Internet users preferred to book their flights directly on our partner sites”explains a Google spokesperson. Hard to believe … With Google Flight, the market was mostly unequally accessible between Google Flight and its competitors like Kayak, Sky Scanner, eDreams or even Liligo.
Of course, Google has not taken commissions on ticket sales made through Google Flight. However, it blocked the way for other aggregators and comparators with privileged access in the search results.
So much so that in the context of antitrust investigations in Europe as in the United States, taking a step back on such a service is not so binding on its economic interests, but very interesting for its image. Google downloads its suitcase into its anti-competitive practices.
Such suspicions of practice are also found in all requests relating to navigation (Google Maps), videos (YouTube) and shopping (Google Shopping). But I’m not sure if Google wants to do the same sorting on these files.
Among other pans currently pending on Google Flight is its change in measuring aircraft CO2 emissions. A month ago Google was blocked for not accounting for chemtrails, these famous white streaks related to condensation.
According to the scientists, these could have as much impact on rising temperatures as the CO2 emissions released. A Greenpeace reporter, quoted in a BBC article, claimed that: “Google has erased much of the aviation industry’s climate impact from its pages”.
What Google Flight has taught us
To play the devil’s advocate, Google Flight has nevertheless had the merit of offering very complete tools to learn more about the evolution of ticket prices over time, the best prices depending on the day of the week, or even the best distances to travel. within a given budget.
From the data analyzed by Google, in the last five years the platform has also been able to reveal some interesting information, which it has recently revealed.
Among them was the famous urban legend of the cheapest tickets at certain times of the night, and especially on Tuesdays. With the data recorded by Google Flight from 2017 to 2022it was stated that during these periods prices were generally 1.9% cheaper than prices posted on weekends.
“If your trip is due in a few weeks, don’t wait until Tuesday to book your flight. Do it now, in case the price goes up “said James Byers, Google Flight product manager to guide his customers. In its other analysis, the platform showed that over five years of flights, departures on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays were on average 12% less than tickets departing on weekends.
“Excluding international destinations, the potential savings rises even higher, to 20%”added the manager. For to be able to buy the cheapest tickets, tickets should therefore be booked between 3 and 8 weeks before take-off, with the lowest price averaging 44 days before take-off. This is only an overall average, because flights from the United States and to Europe should rather be counted 129 days in advance.