The Experience of Flying…

Most travel sites, like Expedia and Kayak, do a good job of digging up the cheapest airfare for a given route, often giving you dozens of options. But when it comes to key factors that can help determine whether a flight is worth the money or is one to avoid — like how much legroom you get, a flight’s on-time performance and mishandled luggage rates — travel sites tend to fall short. Enter InsideTrip! >>Full Story

Thoughts// Few things in life are as commoditized as airfare prices. Like many of you, I’ve often spent hours juggling between the Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak and Expedia just to try and shave a few dollars here and there. A new site that’s currently in beta, InsideTrip, attempts to ease the pain of travel booking and give consumers a bit more than just “cheap fares”.

Taking such “pain points” such as the amount of legroom in a cabin, how often the flight is on time, the aircraft type (larger jets get higher ratings), how crowded a specific flight typically is, how far you have to walk/run to your connection and even security checkpoint times, it adds context to the price and recommends the flying experience of each option. These “pain points” are summarized in three categories: ‘Speed’, ‘Comfort and ‘Ease’ and the scores are summarized by an overall score that’s prominently displayed at the top right. Most importantly, consumers can pick the factors that are most important to them.

Taking information from multiple data providers and displaying them in a user friendly and intuitive interface can be tricky and I am impressed by how InsideTrip blends the experience of flying along with the traditional price information. It was rather amusing however that test my flights (round trips from Portland to Chicago and Portland to Tucson) both ended up with the lowest priced flights being ranked for the best experience!

Authors Note: The site is still in beta and I experienced considerable downtimes and slow connections when attempting to write this. The site currently does not allow bookings but when launched will allow bookings via Orbitz.

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