Google grows its travel business

For most people, Google is all about online searches and accessing content. But this month the online giant is making inroads into the travel industry with its software for airlines.

Google and U.S. airline company Cape Air have signed an agreement to purchase flight tickets using Google’s ITA Software, the airline announced in a press release.

Google acquired ITA (Innovative Travel Technology), a flight information software company, in 2010. Now Google is introducing its new airline platform, ITA’s Passenger Service System.

The service allows consumers to find and book flights via websites for both Cape Air and its sister airline Nantucket Airlines to 39 destination cities across the United States and Caribbean.

The system may also eventually allow the airline to use passengers’ smartphones to track whether they are running late – or early – and rebook flights. It could even be used to deliver luggage directly to a traveler’s destination, Wolf added.

“Our team at ITA has been working to build a modern airline platform from scratch on open systems technology,” Jeremy Wertheimer, vice president of Google Travel, wrote in the Google Blog. “Cape Air has been the perfect partner in helping this effort.”

Google Flights, launched in September 2011, is used to search for U.S. round-trip flights, but does not have purchase capabilities. However, “Google Flights still can be useful for doing some preliminary air travel research,” Jill Duffy wrote for


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