Google Flight closes its reservation tool: but why?

Google Flight 2022

The Google Flight flight comparator will put an end to the possibility of booking plane tickets directly from its interface. The platform which formed a real shortcut in user searches, and which overshadowed all other services, will not be no longer available in Europe from September 30.

The company announced it in what would be for it an abandonment, lack of popularity of his service. “We finally realized that Internet users preferred to book their flights directly on the sites of our partners”, explains a Google spokesperson. It’s hard to believe… With Google Flight, the market was above all unequally accessible between Google Flight and its competitors such as Kayak, Sky Scanner, eDreams, or even Liligo.

Of course, Google did not take a commission on ticket sales made through Google Flight. But all the same, it blocked the way for other aggregators and comparators with privileged access in search results.

So that in the context of antitrust investigation in Europe as in the United States, taking a step back on such a service is not so constraining for its economic interests, but very interesting for his image. Google unloads its suitcase in its files of anti-competitive practices.

Such suspicions of practice are also found in all requests related to navigation (Google Maps), videos (YouTube) and shopping (Google Shopping). But not sure that Google wants to do the same sorting on these files.

Among the other pans currently hanging over Google Flight is its change in measuring aircraft CO2 emissions. A month ago, Google was pinned for not taking into account chemtrails, these famous white streaks linked to condensation.

According to scientists, these could have as much impact on the rise in temperatures as the CO2 emissions released. A Greenpeace journalist, quoted in a BBC article, said that: “Google has erased much of the aviation industry’s climate impacts from its pages”.

What Google Flight taught us

To play the devil’s advocate, Google Flight still had the merit of offering very comprehensive tools to find out more about the evolution of ticket prices over time, the best prices depending on the day of the week, or even best distances to travel within a given budget.

From the data analyzed by Google, the platform has also been able to reveal some interesting information over the past five years, which it recently revealed.

Among them, there was the famous urban legend of cheaper tickets on certain time slots at night, and especially on Tuesdays. With the data recorded by Google Flight from 2017 to 2022it was argued that during these periods, prices were generally less expensive than 1.9%, compared to the prices posted on weekends.

“If your trip is scheduled 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, the product manager of Google Flight to guide his customers. In its other analyses, the platform showed that over five years of flights, departures on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday were on average 12% cheaper than tickets departing on weekends.

“Excluding international destinations, potential savings jump even higher, to 20%”, added the manager. For to be able to buy the cheapest tickets, tickets should then be booked between 3 and 8 weeks before take-off, with the lowest price on average on the 44th day before take-off. This is only an overall average, because for flights from the United States and towards Europe, it would rather be necessary to count 129 days in advance.

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