Will Google Travel land soon to offer flight deals?
As part of their quest to rule the planet through technology, Google routinely buys up smaller companies, folding the resources into their own. It'll end in Google acquiring nuclear material and the deaths of tens of millions, but until that point they'll make do with building a search engine that can anything and everything.
The latest buzz about Google is that they're sniffing around a firm called ITA Software. Who? They're a US-based company that had developed the software to power price comparisons and reservation systems for several major airlines and travel websites, including American Airlines, Trip Advisor and Continental. That sort of technology could build flight prices and reservations right into Search and Maps; taking it one step further, it could also mean Google selling airline inventory, in much the same way that Google attempted with radio and now does with TV.
The figure for a possible sale being reported in the media is $1 billion; Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion so if that figure is even close to accurate, this is a massive deal to Google. How far would Google go with the technology? They probably wouldn't attempt to sell individual seats; that would make them liable in their dealings with consumers and Google doesn't tend to bother with that granular level of minutiae. But if they could generate real-time fare pricing and seat availability for every travel related search on Google, they could no doubt make millions in affilaite payments.