Archive for November, 2011

Google buys ITA Flight Search Software.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Google’s aquisition of ITA software, a powerful flight price comparison engine, may eventually add a huge new twist to the flight search space although Google’s current position is that they won’t enter this market as a competitor, rather as a more helpful and user friendly search routine for flights.   It remains to be seen how Google will implement this tool over time, but it’s probably bad news for what in QuickAid’s view is the best current player in this market, Kayak.com.    We’re not sure but believe that  ITA already powers Kayak’s search.

This from Google:

On July 1, 2010, Google announced an agreement to acquire ITA Software, a Cambridge, Massachusetts flight information software company, for $700 million, subject to adjustments.

  • Google’s acquisition of ITA Software will create a new, easier way for users to find better flight information online, which should encourage more users to make their flight purchases online.
  • The acquisition will benefit passengers, airlines and online travel agencies by making it easier for users to comparison shop for flights and airfares and by driving more potential customers to airlines’ and online travel agencies’ websites. Google won’t be setting airfare prices and has no plans to sell airline tickets to consumers.
  • Because Google doesn’t currently compete against ITA Software, the deal will not change existing market shares. We are very excited about ITA Software’s QPX business, and we’re looking forward to working with current and future customers. Google will honor all existing agreements, and we’re also enthusiastic about adding new partners.

 

Google Press Release and Video on the ITA Aquistion: http://www.google.com/press/ita/

Bureau of Transportation Statistics – a great online resource

Friday, November 18th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am often amazed at the resources that pop up online without much fanfare.  One for Transportation is the Research and Innovation Technology Administration, thankfully shortened to  “RITA” , which is part of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics at BTS.gov .     Here you’ll find flight, airline, and airport statistics provided by the US Government that include everything from flight delays to jobs in the industry.   If you are a researcher this is an essential resource, and even travelers will find the information very interesting.   Did you know, for example, that extra baggage fees were $887 million – almost a billion dollars –  in the second quarter of 2011.  This is a lot of extra revenue for the airlines and also suggests an obvious budget cutting travel tip – travel light and use a carry on rather than checked baggage!     You won’t save $887 million, but one of the reasons that number is so high is that the extra baggage fees have become exceptionally high over the last few years as many flights do NOT provide any free checked bags.   My personal experience has been that travelling light has many, many advantages.    For example on our 2010 family trip to Venice, Italy we decided to walk to our hotel from the train station rather than hire a water taxi.   This was a charming walk because we only had one bag each to roll along, with more it would not have been possible.