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5 Best Practices for Building a Flight Search Engine

5 Best Practices for Building a Flight Search Engine

Discovery phaseTravel

The travel industry has experienced a profound digital transformation. With more than half of the air tickets booked online, there’s no wonder why investing in flight ticket software development is a promising business opportunity.

People expect to buy air tickets from the comfort of their home, and they want the booking process to be quick and hassle-free. In this article, you’ll learn the best practices to build a flight search service that is agile and intuitive to use, guaranteeing a seamless booking journey:

Establish a logical order of parameters

A pleasant user interface (UI) and an intuitive user experience (UX) can go a long way, improving your sales conversion rate.

Did you know that most users leave a website in 10 to 20 seconds often due to poor design? If you want to retain your users’ attention (and keep them returning), create a booking system that is simple and useful at the same time: the search journey has to be seamless. How? For starters, establish a logical order of parameters:

  • Route
  • Dates
  • Passenger selection
  • Extra information
  • Search

When the user journey is logical, people are more likely to complete a purchase.

Include auto-suggesting

You might have experienced this when booking a flight. Sometimes, you’re unsure how the airport name is spelled (how do you even spell Bydgoszcz on the first try?). Or perhaps you misspelled a word in the search box, and the system found nothing. And don’t even get us started on long airport names like Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Palace Complex. That’s in Dubai.

Auto-suggesting (also known as auto-complete) would help in all these cases. It saves time, enrichens the user experience, and boosts sales by 24%.

Create a user-friendly calendar

In the date parameter, the calendar should be intuitive and minimalistic. The system must identify what origin/destination is related to quickly and if it’s a single or a round-way trip.

You might want to include a flex-search option: a feature that allows moving your dates around to find the best prices available. In that case, use a calendar that offers a month-long price perspective for both outbound and return flights.

Make passenger selection simple

After choosing the route and the travel dates, the user has to select the number and type of passengers. But depending on the age group of each of them, you’ll need to provide additional information. So, our advice is to create a separate dialog box to make selecting adult/children/baby travelers and filling in details about each of them more comfortable.

Use two visual levels

The information you’ve collected until now is crucial for processing the flight search: route, dates, and passengers’ selection. So, the search boxes related to them have to be visually dominating the screen.

The rest of the information (baggage selection, cabin class, etc.) should fade off to the second level. This simple trick will save users from filling in the information that doesn’t influence the search.

The bottom line

Building an agile, responsive, and user-friendly flight search engine isn’t easy. It requires industry knowledge and impressive engineering skills. We know this because we’ve successfully developed an air ticket search engine with a clean design and intuitive user interface.

Our experience with Global Distribution Systems (GDS) helped us develop a booking service that allows searching destinations by city or airport while providing a smart price engine to configure commissions, discounts, and sales programs for businesses. If you’re curious about the details, click here.

Building a system like this requires a lot of time and effort, so if you have a trusted in-house team that can cover it — great. But if you’d like to extend your team or outsource air ticket software development to professionals, contact Perfsol. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your project.