But enough with this 'big picture' talk, lets run through what we have so far and how it works:
Flight SearchesYes, yes, we know there are plenty of websites that "do flights". But think of what we are doing as more Google than Expedia. What we mean by this is that we are all about helping you find information about flights in a simple, unbiased manner - we are not trying to sell you a flight. In fact we make no money what so ever on flights. Now a glance at our flight search page more or less looks like a typical web form used to input travel information (well that is minus the annoying blinking ads that most travel sites have). But behind those simple four boxes is a whole new way to think about flights.
Normally when you go to an Expedia type site you must already know all the info about your trip. That is to say you need to know where you are going, when you're going there, and so forth. And of course if you don't know that stuff and just put in what you do know, you usually will get some stupid error about needing to fill in a field. But... since our team is made up of travelers and not stuffy corporate suits, one has to ask themselves, why do i need to know this stuff? For example, say I want to go somewhere for an upcoming extended holiday weekend, and I'm trying to choose between a few places. Well the traditional way to do it is to put one by one each of those places I'm considering as a flight destination - this of course gets rather boring after a while. In fact, one of our friends recently commented that they spent four hours looking at different combinations of flights just to decide between going to Jamaica or Barbados.
So the simple beauty of our design (patent pending of course ;-) is a seamless process that allows you to first figure out where to go, then decide when to go, and finally lookup which flight to go on.
So now say you now know where you want to go, but you're trying to decide when might be the best day to leave on. Well obviously a calendar is probably the best way to see things. So we call this (surprise, surpise) calendar view; you can either get there by leaving the dates blank on our flight form or from clicking the link in the previous destination view we talked about. Simple eh? Of course the calendar view, similar to the destination view, shows prices of various dates you can fly based on what other Travature users have found recently. And again, those crazy airlines change prices a lot, but this pricing 'sneak-peak' should help you get an idea of whether or not taking a day off work early and leaving on a Thursday instead of a Friday is that much cheaper. And of course once you have a date, just click the link in that calendar cell and you'll be taken to the final step: deciding which flight.
So now that you know where you want to go, and when you want to go (and hey if your old school, you probably already knew it), then put all your info in the flight search form. Leave the return date blank for oneway, and fill it in for roundtrip. Of course clicking on a date in the cal view will do the same thing. And either way, heres where we really start acting like Google instead of Expedia. Our final flight view, is a realtime search of your specific flight info on nearly all the various airline and travel sites. The result is sort of like if you went to, say, usair.com and jetblue.com directly and put in the same flight info to see which comes up the cheapest. Of course we search a whole bunch more than two sites, and we put it all together so you can compare on the fly. For the tech savy among you, you will recognize this as metasearching. These results will show a bunch of flights offered on various sites, and the key here is that like Google these are links. This may seem a bit confusing for people unfamiliar with metasearching, but understand that by searching what each site is publishing we can give you completely unbiased flight results and let you decide which flight you want to go on, and who you want to book through.
See wasn't that fun? We took you from not knowing anything about a trip except where you'd be leaving from (and if you don't know that part, we can't help you much there) and helped you figure out everything you need: from where to go, to when you should go, to who you should book a flight through. Good stuff, oh and um, happy flying!