Google Flight Search Touches Down in Europe

google-blue-airplaneAfter a long delay, Google Flight Search, its airline flight comparison service that has been available in the U.S. since September 2011, has finally arrived in Europe.

The service is a bit limited. A blog post from Noam Ben Haim, senior product manager for travel at Google, said that it is only available, or applicable, for people in the UK, France, Italy, Spain or the Netherlands. If that is you, then the world is your oyster, or at least almost.

"Starting today, you can use Flight Search to quickly find, compare and book flights originating from each of these countries to any airport in the world. You'll also be able to search for flights from airports in these countries and see prices in your local currency," Haim said.

Searches can be conducted in eight languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Basque, Catalan, Galician and Dutch.

Haim said Flight Search will let users quickly compare live prices for tickets and check for the lowest fare icon "to see which dates will get you the lowest fare". 

However, there are some big names missing, and they happen to be some of the more budget airlines, something that could harm the appeal of Google Flight Search. Haim said that these are coming.

"Sometimes we are not able to show results for every single airline and we will make that clear. We are working to expand our relationship with other airlines, and bring Flight Search to more countries and in more languages," he said.

We checked prices for a flight to Paris this week. Although search returned a lot of options, prices for Easyjet, one obvious low cost airline, are not available. A disclaimer on the flight search page explains, "Some airlines are not available on Google". These being Ryanair, Lufthansa, Easyjet, Thomas Cook, and Aer Lingus.

Haim said that it will let you find flights quickly, work out what times are cheapest to fly, and discover your location on Google Maps. Other benefits include the ability to see what flights are WiFi enabled.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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Dave Neal is a reporter at The INQUIRER. Previously he worked at, VNUnet, and IT Week in editor and journalist roles.

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