29 May 2011

Verdict on Google Travel v1.0/Troogle is Sadly Disappointing. UPDATED

So for all the hoopla – the first version of Google Air - AKA Plan Your Next Trip - is a big disappointment.

It resembles a first-gen index service circa 1998. The test has been out there for quite a while. This was all designed pre-ITA and takes advantage of Google's current contracts with existing vendors Innovata and UBM Aviation's OAG. (Although not confirmed by Google I hasten to add!)

Read the Google Blog post for more details on the service.

One has to ask yourself WHY are they doing this? So speculation is one of the Professor’s stock in trade. Make no mistake there is no ITA magic in this display. Also note that it has a function to try and close off competition from the existing meta search and real search companies and to stake out its footprint in air as it has with Maps in Hotels.

So Google is either being:
Ultra Smart

Or perhaps it has ITA and has generated so much noise – maybe it will – like so many other things move on somewhere else and leave the experts to solving the problem.

Google has a history of abandoning things. Some have speculated that this may happen to Air. Personally I don’t think so.

Anyway – have a look at the images and see if you agree – so far as I can see the link to the basic airlines websites was a pretty poor experience. This shifts with the IP address but then it is driven by how badly that airline does the interpretation of the cookies. Even in 2011, the airlines do badly and clearly Google is not providing much assistance. Mind you there are so many people who do this today and get away with it that poor level of service that perhaps Google thinks they can. So the Google policy of not being the best – just being able to out run the other human in the contest with the Lion – probably wont work for them long term.


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