Monday, February 11, 2008

What if my destination is flexible?

Almost all the flight/train ticket booking sites allow me to search for availability keeping my travel dates open or flexible to the nearest one or two days. This is usually done in order to find availability or to get better deals if you are not particular about a date for travel. Flights offer different ticket rates for different days of the week and also times of the day. I recently had to make a lot of air ticket bookings and that’s when I realized about one more option of getting cheaper air tickets… my destination. What if my destination is also flexible? I’m hearing you asking…
Are you kidding?
No I’m not. Let me explain. I have three airports situated at equal distances from my house in Kerala; Kochi, Kozhikode and Coimbatore. And while I was searching for flights to all the three airports in order to find availability, I found that flights to Coimbatore are generally available and also cheaper. That’s when I was wondering if the air ticket booking sites could introduce a new feature of having my destination also flexible and also give me all the other airports near the one which I primarily searched for.

I know it’s a little tough implementing this on the search page without making the page complex. But then that’s the challenge. When implemented that will be a killer feature. Is my favourite booking site Cleartrip listening? If you do this you will the one of those booking sites which not only allow travelers to book their tickets hassle free but also recommend them ways of saving money. Wouldn’t it be cool if your site can tell the user who just ran a search for flights from Bangalore to Pune that he can also try searching for flights to Bombay and he might get a better deal?
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