Google Flights and associated travel products have been a game-changer in the meta-search travel space, especially after the acquisition and integration of ITA Software in 2010. There are many meta-search engines, such as Skyscanner, Momondo, even ixigo closer home, but no one has been able to leverage their dominance of data and relationships as Google.
While all Indian carriers have been listed on Google Flights for long, these would typically take those searching for fares to book flights to a bunch of options, including the airline’s website and other travel agents. However, Vistara has now moved forward by integrating the Book on Google feature.
Book on Google
Fully integrated with the company’s Book on Google service, passengers will be able to find Vistara flights and book them by using the Google Flights platform. This capability is made possible by implementing a platform that adheres to New Distribution Capability guidelines, in the case of Vistara, Amadeus. The airline has already been using the Amadeus platform since its establishment, and now has integrated this feature as well. ANA is one of the other prominent airlines which uses Book on Google.
Book on Google for hotels has been around since 2016, if not earlier, and Google launched the product because it wanted to standardise the look and feel of the booking experience, as per Skift.
Previously, when customers wanted to make reservations through Google Flights, they would need to enter flight information such as date and destination. After selecting the flight on Google Flights, the passenger would be re-directed to Vistara’s official website or an OTA, to close out the reservation. The introduction of Book on Google service means flights can be easily booked through the following steps:
- After a search on Google Flights, customers can complete the reservation and purchasing procedure on the Google Flights page without going to the official Vistara website.
- Once a customer logs in to their Google accounts, their registered names and contact information will automatically be displayed when filling out travel details. Besides, if the customer has registered their credit card with Google Pay, their credit card information will also be displayed automatically to allow for a smoother transition from search to the reservation to the payment process.
At a future date, as Vistara’s experience with Book on Google evolves, you should also be able to purchase optional upgrades and extra luggage, in line with the NDC’s capability to provide rich content services.
New Distribution Capability (NDC)
NDC is a travel industry-supported programme launched by IATA for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard (NDC Standard). The NDC Standard enhances the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents. The NDC Standard enables the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travellers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations:
- Product differentiation and time-to-market
- Access to full and rich air content
- Transparent shopping experience
The next time you are using Google Flights, you might be able to close your booking on Google itself. While Google will be the processor of your payment on record, the airline will be issuing you the tickets directly. Vistara is the first airline in India to integrate with Book on Google.
Have you experienced Book on Google before? How has your experience been with the product?
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