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How to Build a Flight Search Engine in 2022

January 11, 2022

Discovery phase


Mykola Breslavskyi


Mykola Breslavskyi


Table of contents

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 search engine development is a promising business opportunity.

Flight search engine: what is it?

Flight search engines are Internet services that search for information about ticket agencies and airlines. Airfare search engines gather all kinds of combinations of tickets, flight connections and fares together, while conveniently providing information to the end-user. They simplify route planning and provide a flexible search on all the airlines in the world, and sometimes can offer related services for travelers: hotel reservations, car rentals, and more.

Advantages of flight search engines

  • If you search through ticket agencies and airlines, it will take a lot of time. A flight booking service will do everything for you in seconds.
  • The airfare search engines collects information from many sources, so you won't get a good deal.

Stages of flight search engine development

Like any software, the development of a flight search engine consists of several key stages. Let's consider each of them in detail.

Idea, collection and analysis of requirements

One of the most important stages of flight booking service development, where the major decisions are made. At this airfare search engines development stage, the customer together with business analysts try to figure out whom the software will be designed for, what it should do, what competitors it has on the market, and so on. Then it’s necessary to clearly state in a documented form the specific goals and result of the work.

Design and Engineering

When the clear requirements for the flight search engine are formed, we move on to the stage of its direct development. Based on the stated ideas and requirements, the technical architecture of the product and visual style are selected.

Implementation and programming

This is one of the easiest to describe, but sometimes one of the most difficult stages of airfare search engine implementation. It is at this point that programmers come in and write the code based on all of the documents, diagrams, and illustrations so that the finished software looks exactly as intended and does what it needs to do.

Testing and debugging

At this stage, specialists need to check if everything works as intended and if there are any defects, errors, or system faults. QA engineers make sure that all mechanics are implemented and all functions work correctly.

Deployment and Operation

When the airfare search engine has been tested and is ready for use, it is released to the market. At this point, the end-user begins to interact with the software.

Maintenance and support

This is the longest phase of the software lifecycle. Here, developers make sure that the software works properly on the fly. Updates often include new functions and features and improve the usability of the product, its performance, and so on.

Unlock the Potential of Flight Search Engine Development with Perfsol!

Dive into the world of flight search engine development with Perfsol's expert guidance. Explore the stages of development, best practices, and optimization tips to create a seamless user experience. Connect with us to take your flight search engine to new heights.

5 Best Practices For Building A Flight Search Engine

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 airfare search engine 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 in your airfare search engine 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.

Flight search engine example

And now let us give you an example of a quality flight search engine, developed by Perfsol from the ground up. We had to develop a handy flight search engine for the Australian market. Leveraging our experience in global distribution system (GDS) integration, PerfSol designed and developed JetSeeker.

For a traveler, the system allows searching by airports and cities, looking for round trip flights. For a business, the system is equipped with a smart price engine to configure commissions, discounts, and sales programs.

During the development, we used the following technologies:

  • Symfony,
  • Am,
  • WSDL,
  • SOAP,
  • PostgreSQL,
  • Redis,
  • rabbitMQ,
  • Memcached,
  • Amadeus GDS,
  • React.js,
  • Git.

Elevate Your Travel Business with a Custom Flight Search Engine!

Volodymyr Khodonovych

Flight Search Engine Development Expert

Looking to revolutionize your travel business? Perfsol offers full-cycle flight search engine development services, from market research to launch. Contact us today to embark on this transformative journey with our expert, Volodymyr Khodonovych.

How to Optimize API Integrations for Flight Search Engines

API integrations are essential for the success of any flight search engine. By integrating with multiple airline and travel agency APIs, flight search engines can provide customers with a wide range of options, including different airlines, routes, and pricing.

However, optimizing API integrations can be challenging, particularly for smaller flight search engines with limited resources. Here are some tips to help flight search engine providers optimize their API integrations:

Choose the Right APIs: The first step in optimizing API integrations is to choose the right APIs to integrate with. This means selecting APIs that offer the best coverage, pricing, and reliability. It's also important to consider the quality of the API documentation, the level of support provided by the API provider, and the ease of integration.

Implement Robust Error Handling: Even the best API integrations can fail from time to time. That's why it's important to implement robust error handling to ensure that errors are handled gracefully and customers are provided with helpful error messages. This can help to reduce frustration and improve the overall customer experience.

Implement Rate Limiting: API providers typically impose rate limits to prevent excessive usage and protect their systems from overload. It's important for flight search engine providers to implement rate limiting to ensure that their usage of the API remains within acceptable limits. This can help to ensure that the API remains available for other users and can prevent blacklisting.

Monitor Performance: It's important to monitor API performance regularly to identify any issues before they become major problems. This can include monitoring response times, error rates, and API availability. By monitoring performance, flight search engine providers can identify areas for improvement and optimize their API integrations.

By following these tips, flight search engine providers can optimize their API integrations and provide customers with a reliable, comprehensive, and user-friendly flight search experience.

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 an airfare search engine 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.

Mykola Breslavskyi


Mykola Breslavskyi


I am passionate about technologies. Adore solving challenges of our customers: going under the tech problem and trying to deal with a reason rather than a symptom. I do believe that is why our clients choose Perfsol.


  • What is a Flight Search Engine and why is it essential for travelers?

    A Flight Search Engine is an online service that aggregates information from various airlines and ticket agencies to provide users with a comprehensive range of flight options. It simplifies route planning, offers flexible search options, and can include additional services like hotel reservations and car rentals, making the booking process quick and convenient for travelers.

  • What are the key stages involved in the development of a Flight Search Engine?

    The key stages in Flight Search Engine development include: 1. Idea generation and requirements analysis to define project goals. 2. Design and engineering to create technical architecture and visual aesthetics. 3. Implementation and programming to develop the software. 4. Testing and debugging for quality assurance. 5. Deployment and operation to release the product. 6. Maintenance and support for ongoing updates and improvements.

  • How can API integrations be optimized for Flight Search Engines?

    To optimize API integrations for Flight Search Engines, providers should: 1. Choose the right APIs based on coverage and reliability. 2. Implement robust error handling to manage errors gracefully. 3. Utilize rate limiting to prevent excessive usage. 4. Monitor performance to identify and address issues promptly, ensuring a reliable and user-friendly flight search experience.

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