Bing Puts Flight Prices Right in the Search Box
Bing has introduced flight prices in auto-suggestions. You can simply enter your query, and it will bring up a prediction for what Bing Travel deems the best flight price deal within the next 90 days.
"Bing travel crunches over a billion airfares on a daily basis to bring you Price Predictors, and we use that data to uncover cheap airline tickets every day," explains Bing’s David Lindheimer on the Bing Search blog. "With Autosuggest Flight Prices natural language capabilities, you can simply type ‘Fly to Chicago’ or ‘Chicago Flights’ and Bing will immediately recognize where you are, in this case Seattle, and instantaneously display the Price Predictor based on your location."
"Don’t worry about entering the formal city name or airport name," adds Lindheimer. "Bing Travel recognizes colloquial names like Chi Town."
The feauture must still be rolling out, because it’s not working for me yet.
Meanwhile, Google is reportedly negotiating with the Department of Justice to prevent having to go to court over its acquisition of travel software service ITA Software (hat tip: Greg Sterling). Bing is a member of the FairSearch Coalition, whose sole purpose is to see that this acquisition is blocked.
Google has been criticized for favoring its own content over competitors. It’s interesting that Bing is going so far as to suggest its own content before users even get to the search results themselves.