After announcing in February it would shutter its Book on Google option for hotels, the search giant has confirmed it will phase out the feature for flights, as well, as consumers preference shifts to booking direct.
According to Google, it will disable Book on Google for non-U.S. users on September 30, 2022, and for U.S. users on or after March 31, 2023.
“Over the next 12 months, we plan to phase out the Book on Google feature for flights. We originally offered this functionality to give people a simpler way to buy their tickets and to help our partner airlines and OTAs 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,” the company says in a statement.
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Launched in 2015, Book on Google for flights facilitated transactions for partners whose sites weren’t optimized for the mobile web.
In subsequent years, as partner websites – particularly on mobile – evolved, consumers increased their booking activity with airlines directly or via online travel agency.
Google says that while Book on Google has been beneficial for some partners, the search engine has overall witnessed a declining share of Google flight bookings coming from the option.
As of May 25, 2022 the Book on Google option for hotels was discontinued.