Online travel company, Expedia.com, has introduced three new features designed to help customers through the travel planning process: Flight Recommendations, Scratchpad and Itinerary Sharing.
The Flight Recommendations feature analyses more than three billion flight searches performed on Expedia.com and offers insights to real-time customer search queries, suggesting convenient or cost-effective alternative airports, dates or time of travel. These options and fares are presented to the customer in a box above the standard search results.
An online travel industry first, the feature reveals potential savings from alternative searches. The Flight Recommendations feature is available today for desktop customers in the US, with global roll-out expected in 2014.
The Scratchpad feature neatly stores and organises a customer’s search queries for easy retrieval. According to an Expedia.com survey, customers will search for a flight online an average of 48 times before booking a trip. Scratchpad ensures that whenever they return, they have access to previous searches. Clicking on the Scratchpad button on the Expedia.com homepage expands the search history and refreshes the data, showing the latest prices and inventory.
The Scratchpad feature claims to save travellers time during research, and saves money by sending customised emails to them when prices change, allowing them to make smart, informed travel decisions.
Itinerary Sharing allows users to share their live itineraries with their co-workers, friends and/or family. Friends can have access to the same notifications as the traveller, making it easier to track flight departures, arrivals, and delays.
‘Customers spend too much time hunting and pecking for the right deal. For any given search, there are thousands of ways they can search for a particular trip. Each search can produce billions of combinations,’ said John Kim, senior vice president of Global Products, Brand Expedia.
‘Flight Recommendations utilises our flight booking data to help travellers find the best flight at the best price available. Scratchpad makes it easy for travellers to log all their options. We eliminated the hassle of tracking. Scratchpad remembers searches so customers don’t have to. Itinerary sharing makes it easy for customers to share their live data with others. We are making travel easier.’
Scratchpad and Flight Recommendations are both powered by the underlying innovation in Expedia.com’s ‘Travel Graph,’ which analyses booking data to provide more intelligent search results for consumers. The updated Expedia.com app is available for download at the Google Play and Apple App Store.