Review: Skyscanner


Following on from its successful iOS and Android applications, Edinburgh-based Skyscanner has launched a Windows Phone version of its popular flight booking service. The premise is simple - you tell Skyscanner where and when you want to travel, and it will go scouting round the internet, finding you the best deal for that airline flight. It's a win all round!

Author: Skyscanner

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Here's another great example of an application that does the the same as a website, but does it far better inside an application environment. It is possible to do exactly the same thing using Internet Explorer on your  smartphone, but there is a lot of scrolling and zooming into text entry boxes - all of which is done away with in the Skyscanner application.

All it does is search for prices, gives you the price, and lets you book it. Simple.

 Skyscanner Skyscanner 

Searching is painfully easy. The destination and arrival boxes are at the top of the screen, and once you start typing you will be presented with the available airports. In two, perhaps three, letters you'll have your strip of tarmac, either by searching for the city name, or the three letter airport code. You can then hit search, through the search icon at the bottom of the screen - I'd prefer a forwards arrow, because the icon used by Skyscanner feels a bit unintuitive.

No matter how, you get taken to a sortable results table, where you can flip through the results by flight time, airline or cost. Tap on any of the results for more comprehensive details, and if that's the flight you want then you can go ahead and start the booking process from the app - otherwise hit the main 'back' key and choose again.

 Skyscanner Skyscanner

Remember that the goal of the application is to get you a price and pass you on to that company - Skyscanner is a middle man, and once you find your price you'll be dealing directly with another company. The application will give you the choice of passing you through to their booking website or a diallable phone number once your search is complete. I've used Skyscanner a fair bit in the last year and it does get you to the best prices - even when they are on the airline's own page!


It's also interesting that the application name is "All Flights - Skyscanner" rather than just the brand name. Yes, it gets the application to the top of the app list!

Skyscanner works, and that's the main thing. But by taking it out of the website and into an application, it now works better. And if that means someone uses Skyscanner a little bit more, the company will see the benefit, as I suspect they have on the other mobile platforms. For the traveller who books their own flights and doesn't have to collect air miles or frequent flyer points, Skyscanner is a good app to have.

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