Google’s Online Travel Dominance Grows With the Purchase of ITA Software

Search engine giant Google whose innovative approach to Internet searching transformed the online travel industry some ten years ago has decided to enter the lucrative travel market directly with the acquisition of ITA Software who provides flight information.

It is Google’s intention to allow users to search directly for flight destinations since the ITA software can provide fares, flight and journey times. It has been reported that Google paid $700m in cash for the US based ITA Software Company which was founded back in 1996.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said “What we’re going to do is build new flight search tools that focus on end users.” He then when on to stress that that Google will not be selling airline tickets to clients. This may well prove to be an interesting time for the online travel industry and Google since ITA current clients include Microsoft’s comparisons website Bing Travel, Expedia and Travelport.

There is concern among regulators that Google may well have a considerable influence on flight data and would the acquisition be good for the consumer. Google have made it clear that it is their intention to work in the best interest of the consumer offering a progressive opening up of the travel marketplace. Currently, within the aviation industry there are systems in place to allow fight booking for different destinations e.g. London to Dallas via Philadelphia and a fee is paid for each segment of the journey. The fear is that Google could challenge that process making the future very interesting.

Google’s dominance is a concern within the online travel community, particularly as their have confirmed working on a project that will allow users to have results of their searches for hotels displayed on Google maps. But real concern if you are a travel advisor is whether or not Google will launch a travel compassion site.

Steve F Campbell is a technical innovator with a proven track record of research, consultative expertise and competent leadership, and has written articles Work from home and How to earn e money.

What to Look For When Booking Travel Online

When using a website to book a holiday or vacation, you should consider online travel research to price the individual components, e.g. flights, car rental, hotel etc separately to make sure you are getting a good deal. Prices can vary significantly, so comparison shopping on several sites could be a distinct advantage.

If you favor a particular hotel or airline, you may be better off going directly to the hotel and/or airline of your choice to get the best deal. Also, some travel websites are unclear about their cancellations and refunds policy; therefore if you book directly with a hotel or car rental company online, you could cancel a reservation without penalty up to 24 hours in advance.

So, when it comes to searching online consider using a travel site as opposed to a search engine like Google. Google may find the best fares but a travel website offers better searching flexibility for holidays and vacation packages and in some cases they also negotiate their own deals with real travel opportunities and packaged offers.

Generally, many service providers including travel companies are guaranteeing ‘lowest prices online’ so it is a good idea to check and compare travel websites pricing with the hotel or airline website. In addition you may found incentives to book directly with a hotel or airline, e.g. air miles or popular retail vouchers.

Also, consider reading the clauses about cancellation when booking. These will vary from site to site. Rates will vary and may come with penalties and deadlines and some cases non refundable deposits. In addition to cancellation fees be aware of potential booking fees. Travel website may charge you a booking fee, where booking directly with an hotel or airline usually does not incur a fee. But be careful here, as some sites may charge you if you use a credit card.

Finally, it is worth checking individual country sites of particular internationally based online companies to compare local prices to the company’s global website. This may prove beneficial depend on your International travel plans.

The impact of online transactions has transformed the travel industry, which is now estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide, as more and more people and travel advisors are taking advantages of some really exciting travel opportunities.

Steve F Campbell is a technical innovator with a proven track record of research, consultative expertise and competent leadership, and has written articles on Work from home and How to earn e money.

Google’s Impact on the Travel Industry

When a pair of students created and initially ran Google from their dorm room while studying at Stanford University, California little do they know the vast impact the search engine would have on the development of the Internet, and in particular in the fundamental change it would cause in the travel industry over the last 10 years.

Google went a step further than other search engines and company directories back in 2000. They introduced a keyword advertising programme. By the beginning of 2001 Google were processing 100 million search queries a day and this provided a huge new avenue for companies to advertise their goods and services. Therefore, travel companies used this new popular competitive channel to reach the top of the organic listings and dominate the sponsored pay-per-click links. This has lead to some really exciting travel opportunities. In fact, this new online advertising initiative has created companies specifically to help businesses succeed at this new venture.

The huge renaissance in online advertising has been attributed to Google’s advertising model that helped pave the way for the demise of the thick, colour printed travel brochure and provided a platform that helps everyone find anything almost anywhere.

As Google moves forward they have step up their Internet travel presence with the introduction of MyTravelGoogle.com, a new way to search online for travel related articles. The site is promoted to targeted budget travellers and their needs. Also, Google Maps can now help you plan, and enjoy, the best possible travel experience with careful research of holiday locations.

Google’s dominance of the search market means travel company and travel advisors using the web will have to follow Google’s developments extremely closely, and stay competitive if they are going to delivery real choice and real travel opportunities.

Steve F Campbell is a technical innovator with a proven track record of research, consultative expertise and competent leadership, and has written articles on Work from home and How to earn e money.

What Happened to Airline Travel?

It’s not like it used to be. I am sure that you have heard that about airlines. The pressures of operating a successful and sustainable airline business continue to increase. Here we explore some of the changes and what might be done about it.

Increased Security, rising costs (fuel, staff and other resources), changing loyalty programs – where will it end. Seems like as airplanes are replaced the new ones seem to have less room for the travellers and their luggage. So, the weight limits continue to reduce for both cabin and check-in luggage. The meals are not as good and often we have to pay extra for them, if at all they are available.

Here are a few tips that might help.

Firstly, plan your itinerary including your time at the airport. Give yourself plenty of time by arriving early. Always have your travel documentation ready for presentation at both check-in and security. (This includes your boarding pass, if they allow you to print it)If you have a choice, travel at non-peak times to miss the bulk of the business travellers. Take the opportunity to check-in online (usually up to 48 hours prior to boarding) and you may have a shorter queue at baggage check-in. Choose your own seat. Choosing an aisle seat will also give you a little flexibly during the flight for stretching your legs.

Secondly, choose your flights carefully, and let it be known that you are flexible, particularly if you are considering and upgrade. You can also save money by taking alternate routes – they may take a little longer but you may get better value. Taking this direction means that you are shaping your travel around the airline’s programs.

Thirdly, when traveling on budget airlines, take a snack and purchase a drink at the airport. You will know what you are eating and it will be good! Make sure that your cabin bag (and your check-in bag) comply with the airlines requirements. However, do take the items that make ‘congested flying’ a little more comfortable, like noise-cancelling earphones, eye mask and small pillow.

It is unlikely that the airline will ask you how they can serve you better. During these changing times. It is far better for you to understand that system and take advantage of any gaps. Nevertheless, thorough planning is a great start and a discussion with your travel advisor may also provide a few extra hints. Happy traveling on the new improved airplanes.