The search engine giant launched the platform in 2015.
Book On Google isn’t quite as popular as the competition, and Google itself “acknowledged that travelers would rather book their flights with online travel agencies or directly with airlines.”
Some suspected Google of trying to become a travel company itself. But this seems unlikely.
As noted by Skift, the company makes an enormous amount of money from travel ads. It would counterproductive “to directly compete with its biggest partners.” Google also has no interest in dealing with flight changes and cancellations, or in providing customer service to stranded travelers.”
Skift mentions, “to be clear, Google Flights is not shutting down but will continue to enable travelers to click on airline and online travel agency links to book their flights, as they have done for years for the vast majority of flights. What changes is that Google will no longer take a small share of bookings on Google channels, but will refer all users to partners for bookings.
Google issued a statement detailing their reasons for fazing out this feature.
“Over the next 12 months, we plan to phase out the Book on Google feature for flights,” the company said. “We offered this functionality to give people a simpler way to buy their tickets and to help our partner airlines 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.”