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Google has just launched a flight search facility, which as the name suggests, helps users to find out more about flight times and availability and to book them.

This new service has been launched in conjunction with ITA Software, which was acquired by Google in April 2011. It took Google nine months to finalise the deal with ITA, because of in-depth legal scrutiny of the deal as a result of objections from numerous other websites.

Flight Search by Google is a lot faster than similar services provided by any other website so far. The results appear almost instantaneously compared to the typical 5-10 second wait experienced by users on most other travel sites that scour a large database of partner deals.

Instant results on Google Flight Search

Users can browse costs to fly to different destinations without having to perform a dozen searches. Prices and travel times in this flight search facility can be viewed on a graph for easy comparison, and a slider allows users to filter down the search results by price and flight duration.

Flight search results filtered on a graph

Google believes that most flights are chosen based on cost as well as travel time. Thus, they said, “We automatically set the filters to focus on options which are reasonable in both price and duration, and you can always adjust the filters to show even more flights.”

This service is not based on any paid relationships so far. Since it is the airlines that decide how their flights are to be marketed, the booking links will point to the airline websites only.

As of now, this feature is available only for selected destinations within the U.S. There are plans to expand the service in the near future.