Google To Remove WTC Reference From New Flight Search Service

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Google was working to remove an unfortunate glitch in its newly-launched Flight Search service Wednesday, after it was found that the World Trade Center was listed as an “unavailable” destination for New York-bound planes.

As of 8:00 a.m., users of the new service — which was launched Tuesday — could still enter New York into the search tool and receive the option “New York, NY – World Trade Center (WTC) – unavailable” as a listed destination.

Google was working to remove the glitch. “Our intention with Flight Search is to provide information only about active airports. We are removing the WTC code now that we’re aware of it and we will look for other airports that need to come out as well,” a Google spokeswoman told The Sydney Morning Herald, which was first alerted to the gaffe by a reader.

The World Trade Center option appears in addition to John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia, and Newark Liberty International airports in New York.

The spokeswoman added that the Flight Search service used International Air Transport Association and International Civil Aviation Organization codes to create its list of airports and heliports.

These codes remained in existence even after ports were decommissioned, and Google did not know the inactive codes were in the lists prior to the Flight Search service going live Tuesday, she said.

The launch of Flight Search was delayed after a nine-month investigation was initiated by the US Department of Justice following Google’s $700-million acquisition of the travel software firm ITA in April, AllThingsDigital reported Tuesday.

The Flight Search service is designed to help users sort through flight information and fares. Currently, the service offers flights only for a limited number of US cities.

(Source: NY Post)