SkyScanner vs Google Flights vs Kayak in cheap flight tickets warOctober 9, 2018
The new Google Flights has landed!
Although still in open beta phase, Google Flights’ new web interface for flight bookings allows travellers to check price graphs and set all kinds of preferences before funnelling business through to airlines and online travel agents.
Of course, SkyScanner and Kayak also do that, but where Google Flights differs is that it integrates with other Google services.
It offers tailor-made travel guides fully integrated with Google Maps (which itself already allows hotel bookings) and if you use Gmail, not only will it will pick up previous bookings and display them in its search results, it will also put them into a new app called Google Trips.
Until now, the main markets for Google Flights, Kayak and Skyscanner have been the US and Europe.
“One reason is that flight metasearch becomes much more useful when you have lots of airlines,” says Maggie Rauch, senior director for research at Phocuswright.
While Google is banned in China, Skyscanner is now owned by Chinese travel services provider Ctrip, the world’s second largest online travel agency.
“In light of this, we will be launching personalised, hyper relevant, in-trip content to travellers, using the technology, community and content behind Trip.com.”
For now Google Flights and Kayak remain the major players in this market.
“But when Google does send travel shoppers on to airline sites and online travel agents, they are more likely to actually make a booking,” says Rauch.
The war is increasingly interesting because of the concerns raised by current market leaders that Google will promote it’s services on top of competition in the Google search engine even when the result is not better for the user. Google was fined by the European Union for similar malpractices in the recent years more than once and must be very careful when promoting it’s services.
Google flights integration into Google (example: query “flights to San Francisco”) makes it convenient to use but surveys shows that Kayak still gets marginally cheaper prices on average. Believing all involved companies will improve and adapt to competition it will be something to monitor in upcoming 2-3 years.Will Google disrupt the market like they did in ads market or will they lose like they did with Google plus? time will tell