Google announced it would soon disable the ability to book flights directly through its search engine.
The decision came after Google found travelers prefer to book directly through an airline or another travel website, Travel and Leisure reported.
For most of the world, the giant tech will stop offering the option to book a flight directly through the site after Sept. 30. However, the search engine will end the option in the U.S. after March 31, 2023, the company confirmed to the outlet.
“Over the next 12 months, we plan to phase out the Book on Google feature for flights,” a company spokesperson told T+L. “We originally offered this functionality to give people a simpler way to buy their tickets and to help our partner airlines and OTAs [online travel agencies] receive more bookings. However, we’ve found over time that people actually want to book directly on partner websites, and we always strive to meet user preferences whenever possible.”
Until then, travelers can book directly through the site using a payment method stored in their Google account.
Luckily, Google will still allow users to search for flights using Google flights (which I feel is one of the best ways to search for flights). There are money-saving features that airline sites don’t offer, allowing travelers to explore the map to find the best deals and set price alerts on flights.
Another perk of using Google to travel is an upcoming tool that will allow travelers to find accommodations within walking or driving distance of a specific landmark, attraction, or event.