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Expedia’s New Feature Makes Searches More Flexibile

@denschaal

Jan 07, 2014 9:20 am

Skift Take

Expedia’s Flight Recommendations feature is a valuable tool for flyers planning their itineraries. Finally, a Big Data feature that transcends the usual hype.

— Dennis Schaal

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Expedia introduced a flight recommendations feature that suggests alternative airports and travel dates in what it says is an online travel industry first.

For example, if you search Expedia.com for a JFK to Seattle flight, departing January 20 and returning January 23, Expedia suggests departing from Philadelphia instead for an $83 savings, or departing on January 22 if there is flexibility in your schedule for a fare that’s $80 cheaper.

Other online travel sites enable users to make their own choices alternative airports, but Expedia says it has used big data techniques to analyze customer search queries and and goes a step further than competirors in making recommendations on alternative airports, flying dates and departure times.

The new flight recommendations feature is available on Expedia.com in the U.S. on desktops, and the company plans on rolling it out globally in 2014.

Expedia also unveiled an itinerary sharing feature to enable friends, families and co-workers to share itineraries, and Scratchpad, which enables a user to store previous search queries and to retrieve them for reference at a later time.

The itinerary sharing feature is also available in updated Expedia mobile apps on Google Play and iTunes.

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