Budget flights – new season – new search engine

Budget flights – new season – new search engine

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Part of my job for the site that sponsors this blog lonelyplanetexchange.com is a routine shuffling of the site’s accommodations and flights databases.

Twice a year, May and November, two of the databases on which the site rests are removed along with all the information about easyjet flights or cheap hotels in Amsterdam and thrown in the bin.

Not like a genocide, more a general purge of all the nasty old stuff from yester-month replaced by new business and new flight routes.

A lot of the sites I’ve been on today I’ve noticed how shabby their systems are.
In a number of cases, operators display flights which don’t exist to make their search forms look busy.

Here’s a list of the search engines in the UK budget flights market and how they rank.

🙂 Nice
1 – Ryanair – Fast, fresh data with pop-up warnings initially alarming but at the same time helpfull.
2 – Easyjet – More aesthetically pleasing than Ryan also displays departure days making it easier to get the cheaper flights.
3 – Thomson – Copes well considering the level of seasonal fluctuation. During the UK summer Thomsonfly is the UK’s largest operator by routes.

🙁 Nasty
1 – Air Baltic – Clunky and green with high prices. Baltic whisks you off to affiliate sites quicker than you can say ‘gulag’.
2 – BMI baby – Another browser hijacker. Pick a flight; next thing the browser is doing the walking for you.
3 – Fly Thomas Cook – A site where the homepage is located in the script repository.
Most of the routes are in action but a large minority (40%) are just there to make it look good.
I’m pretty sure Thomas Cook don’t have one individual, designer or manager, with responsibility for this site because it’s a mess.

A quick word from our sponsors
Given my experiences, I can look and say that by using budget flight search engines like lonelyplanetexchange or skyscanner, you’re removing an element of hit and miss and getting a selection of the cheapest flights from a variety of sources.
That’s got to be the way forward.

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