Google just forced my hand in striking an idea from my list.
Like any entrepreneur, I have a substantial, ever-evolving list of potential ideas. Many are born from personal or societal pain points, while others may be more creative or fun. However, Google’s recently announced an airline flight booking tool, Google Flights, and it has made my entrepreneurial list a little shorter.
As a traveler, I have always wanted a tool that not only helped me book a very specific travel plan (with strict limits on timing, city pairs, airline preferences, and connections options), but I also wanted a tool that could help plan a more random get-a-way.
To me, random is not opening an email from United or JetBlue with “Featured Deals” advertising their preferred dates based on their sales patterns; I want to “Get Away Now” on my terms. I have enjoyed Kayak’s flexible date options, but that still requires that I have a specific destination in mind. Recently, I hoped Kayak would provide a way to enter my date window and a departure city and then find a set of travel offerings. This dream never became a reality, thus I added it to my list of entrepreneurial ideas.
Enter Google Flights.
Not only can I book my next business meeting or wedding trip with a tight date window and specific city pairing, but I can set a date window, a departure city, and scan the WORLD for potential destinations! This type of search is done visually with a slick, Google Maps overlay feature that shows prices next to the destination’s name. Once there, you can constrain results by price, duration, airline, stopovers, and timing.
Traveling from Liberia, Costa Rica on April 7, returning April 13, but not sure where to go? How about NYC for $410, London for $1216, Shanghai for $1363, Jakarta for $1,402, or Sydney for $2377.
On the map view, they even built in the famous “I’m Feeling Lucky” button for those who are particularly adventurous.
Google continuously shows that they have a remarkable knack for combining massive amounts of data with a beautifully simple UI. This as persistent across all of their products and, as a result, I find myself being a long-time Google Power User. Now, with Google Flights, it looks like I will be migrating yet another part of my online behavior to Google’s product set.
The questions that remain are:
What’s next for a big overhaul? Car rentals? Hotels?
And, when will I get the chance to spin the globe, click the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, set sail to somewhere truly random, and figure out a new entrepreneurial idea to add to my list?!?