Projects/google flights/Google Flights - Get Cheap Flights

Google Flights - Get Cheap Flights

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Google Flights

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Google will close the developers' access to the data of its flight comparator. The sale of trips on the Internet is valued at 500,000 million dollars.

Google on a Mac computer |  Photo: Pixabay
Google dares everything | Photo: Pixabay

Alphabet continues to close the circle on the Internet travel sector. The Google search company eliminates the access for developers to its QPX Express flight comparison tool, which was launched in 2014 after the purchase of the company ITA, a software provider for the airline industry. Through this solution, other manufacturers could incorporate into their systems the information of the flights loaded in the Google software to make comparisons.

Alphabet will close access to QPX Express, the free flight comparison solution, in April 2018, but will continue to maintain and strengthen QPX Enterprise, the paid version in which it has clients such as, Cheaptickets, American Airlines or US. Airways From the Californian company have explained that they close access to the API (the communication platform between your application and that developed by other manufacturers) for the lack of interest of users in this free tool.

In recent years, Alphabet has launched Google Hotels to compare accommodation prices in its search engine and Maps. Subsequently, the company added the possibility that the hotels themselves sign up for the Hotel Ads advertising program, where Alphabet charges for each click on the search results or a reservation fee. Little by little, the giant California is taking steps to sink the tooth in the market of the sale of trips on the Internet, which are sold each year services worth 500,000 million dollars (423,986 million euros).

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Google (now Alphabet) bought ITA in 2010 and used it to enhance its flight comparison solution, called Flights, which has been improving in recent years . The results appear in the searches when the name of an airline or a trip is written and incorporates comparison options similar to those of other websites, such as Kayak or Skyscanner. The advantage of Google is that its flight results appear in its own search engine, in a prominent place and without advertising expenses, while external companies must pay to advertise their results in the search engine, which generates a round business for Alphabet.

The fears of the big conglomerates like Priceline (owner of Kayak or Booking) and Expedia (with brands like Trivago or Homeaway) is that Google closes the circle. These two holdings have the most powerful websites for selling travel on the Internet. But to commercialize flights or vacations on the web it is necessary a strong advertising expense in search engines, with an average cost of 5.60 dollars per reservation. Most of this spending occurs in Google, the reference search engine in the US and Europe, which has based its business model on the revenue it receives through advertising. Priceline and Expedia are two of the largest Google advertisers in the world. If Google does business through flight reservations, hotels or vacations will be impacting fully on the business model of these companies, which will also be in the paradox of advertising in the search engine of its main competitor.

When Google bought ITA several companies in the comparison sector raised their voices, warning of the possible creation of a monopoly. In fact, the European Commission has initiated a procedure for this reason against the US company and another report detected anticompetitive practices of the Californian company. The US Department of Justice authorized the operation, valued at 700 million dollars, but made it a condition that Google continue to give access to the free version of its API for five years and that the US government could control the evolution of Google. It is curious that Alphabet decides to close the access to QPX Express when they have completed the five years imposed by the Obama Executive to authorize the purchase.

A study conducted by the Phocuswright consultancy together with Jumpshot shows that visits to Google Flights have doubled in the last two years and even receive more searches than Kayak. In addition, Google Flight is the leader in the generation of conversions for airlines: 25% of the visits that redirect them in the US ends up becoming a reserve, compared to 8% of Kayak.

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