Google appears to have allowed airlines to place a colossal handicap on its own product, which ultimately defies its self-proclaimed mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Are OTAs not part of the world? From a completely unique position on the sidelines, Google had the opportunity to create a pristine, agnostic marketplace unmatchable in its breadth. Instead, it has disconnected its flight search from the most popular consumer booking channel for flights1, letting airlines dictate the rules. However, Google plans to build advertising products that OTAs, metasearch engines and other partners can buy into. OTA booking capabilities may not be welcome, but their advertising dollars certainly are. Nevertheless, being excluded may be a blessing in disguise for OTAs. Incomplete information is a substantial flaw for a search product and instead of battling each other for placement (and spending even more money with Google), they can channel their energy on improving their search products to compete. It would be unrealistic to think OTAs won't be affected, but also unrealistic to believe they will be supplanted. While the effectiveness of Google Flight Search is in the eye of the beholder, one thing is clear: it will disrupt the air travel marketplace. The product itself is only one element of it. The innovation it spurs in everyone else will be another – perhaps even more impactful – consequence. If only for that reason, the travel industry is better for it. Get the full story at PhoCusWright FYI Read also "An early look at our Flight Search feature" at The official Google Search Blog, and Henry Harteveldt's review "Google Needs To Send Flight Search Back To The Hangar " at The Cranky Flier, and "The Google Flight Flap" on how Orbitz and the GDS seen most at risk at Barron's.