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How do you want Google to show you your trips and your travel research (e.g search queries) if you disable search history?

If you don't want to see your search history (since you seem adamant on disabling it), then just use the other features on google.com/travel (destination/hotel/flight search).

It's ridiculous because they don't need your location history to search for static content that they already have saved in their databases. The exact same behavior happens with maps: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19809432

Google is shameless about gimping their services unless you hand over gross amounts of irrelevant personal information.

I think the answer is in your question:

Why would search history be related to travel history? Can't they be decoupled?

You realize that's a ridiculous framing of reasonable objection? The real question is why do they "need" things like your location and web search history to offer this for your past flight searches.

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