> nohup _

A first look at Google Flights

Google Flights launched yesterday. I would like to stick my neck out and say that an API will soon be available. Having said that, let's see what it looks like right now.

[Screenshot: Google Flight Search | SFO JFK] Say you want to fly cross-country for Thanksgiving. On Flight Search page, enter the From and To airports that you would like to fly, as also the Departure and Return dates. Notice that the URL changes to reflect this input as parameters of an HTTP GET request.

http://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=SJC;t=JFK;d=2011-11-23;r=2011-11-30

This URL is easily deconstructed:

Search Input GET Request Parameter Value
From f SJC
To t JFK
Departure d 2011-11-23
Return r 2011-11-30
 

[Screenshot: Google Flight Search | SFO JFK | with more options]

There are 5 other options you could use to narrow down your search results: number of stops, the stop-over airports, specific airlines, departure time frame, and return time frame. Notice that the URL continues to add these options as parameters of the HTTP GET request.

http://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=SJC;t=JFK;d=2011-11-23;r=2011-11-30;a=AA,UA;c=BOS,DEN,IAD;s=2,3,4,5;ott=360,780;itt=300,780

This URL is deconstructed as follows:

Search Input GET Request Parameter Value
From f SJC
To t JFK
Departure d 2011-11-23
Return r 2011-11-30
Airline(s) a AA,UA
Connection(s) c BOS,DEN,IAD
Stop(s) s 2,3,4,5 (This appears to be a bug which appears to have been corrected at a later date.)
Outbound Travel Time (minutes from 00:00 hrs) ott 360,780
Inbound Travel Time (minutes from 00:00 hrs) itt 300,780
 

[Screenshot: Google Flight Search | SFO JFK | with alliance information

It is possible to choose an airline alliance instead of a specific airline.

http://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=SJC;t=JFK;d=2011-11-23;r=2011-11-30;a=STAR_ALLIANCE;c=BOS,DEN,IAD;s=2;ott=360,780;itt=300,780

This URL is deconstructed as follows:

Search Input GET Request Parameter Value
From f SJC
To t JFK
Departure d 2011-11-23
Return r 2011-11-30
Airline Alliance a STAR_ALLIANCE
Connection(s) c BOS,DEN,IAD
Stop(s) s 2
Outbound Travel Time (minutes from 00:00 hrs) ott 360,780
Inbound Travel Time (minutes from 00:00 hrs) itt 300,780
 

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