Scoring flights based on seat choices and amenities is a nice twist on the way the usual suspects present flight options.
TripAdvisor’s SeatGuru business, which has focused on airline seat choices and amenities, has added Kayak-style flight search, and optionally scores flights based on factors including legroom and in-flight entertainment.
The site redesign, which alters its look, feel and layout, enables users to search flights from airline and online travel agency websites, and to sort them by lowest price, fly nonstop, best value, one bag included, best times — and a Guru Factor.
Although a lowest price search for Chicago (ORD) to Orlando (MCO) for late January produced a $188 roundtrip fare from Spirit Airlines, when you conduct a Guru Factor search on the same itinerary, the site recommends at $242 JetBlue roundtrip fare (with an almost four-hour layover in Boston).
SeatGuru’s Guru Factor characterized the Spirit flights as “Live With It,” giving the itinerary just a 2.1 score out of 5 because of the tight legroom.
However, SeatGuru’s Guru Factor sort dubbed the JetBlue itinerary “Love It,” giving it a score of 3.8 out of 5, citing “spacious legroom,” the option to purchase a seat with additional legroom, and TV in the seatback.
The move beyond mere seat intelligence and into flight metasearch puts SeatGuru into competition with larger sites such as Kayak, Skyscanner, Bing, and many others, and follows sister company TripAdvisor’s launch of flight search several years ago.
SeatGuru states its iPhone app will get some of the new features, including the revamped seat map design and navigation, “in the coming weeks.”