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Google flight search lists New York's World Trade Center as a destination

The day after Google's flight search tool went live, news outlets stumbled across a potentially very embarrassing gaffe — the site lists New York's World Trade Center as a flight destination.
Google flight tracker 9 14 2011Enlarge
Click on WTC as a flight destination and the word "unavailable" disappears. (Screengrab)

google.com/flights, Google's brand new flight search tool, may have fixed things by the time you read this... so we saved you a screengrab.

The day after Google's flight search went live, news outlets stumbled across a potentially very embarrassing gaffe — the site lists New York's World Trade Center as a flight destination.

Typing in "New York," Google auto-suggests several destinations, including John F. Kennedy International and La Guardia airports and ... the World Trade Center.

An accompanying note saying the destination is "unavailable."

The World Trade Center's twin towers were destroyed by airliners in the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S.

Google's flight search engine — its first travel product since its controversial $700 million acquisition of ITA Software — is supposed rival to existing travel booking sites, including Kayak and Bing, CNN reports.

For now, flight search only offers flights for a limited number of U.S. cities, and only economy-class round trips.

A spokeswoman for Google said the problem was a result of inactive flight search codes provided by the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organisation for airports and heliports which "continued to exist even after ports were decommissioned," the SMH reports.

"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," she reportedly said.

According to the SMH, United Airlines drew criticism for in May for an ad placed at the World Trade Center site that used the tagline "you're going to love where we land." As the paper points out — and a major commemoration just days ago reminded us — United Airlines plane struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/google-flight-search-world-trade-center-twin-towers

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