Pioneering a new way to search for travel, flight comparison site Skyscanner has launched a brand new way of finding flights via Facebook.
The new ‘Skyscanner for Facebook’ tool allows Facebook members to post a flight request on Skyscanner’s Wall and receive a price quote and flight details back in seconds.
Created specifically for Facebook functionality, the tool is easy to use with no need to navigate away from the Facebook site or install any apps; users simply ‘like’ the Skyscanner page to use the tool.
As well as a quote, the post also includes a link to the flight details on the main Skyscanner site, from where flights can be booked or options filtered.
The innovation comes from technology that allows customers to use “free text” when posting flight requests, rather than having to select a pre-set dates or destinations. For example, a customer can post “London to Edinburgh on 29 June” to get a quote for the cheapest price for that route on that day, and a link to the Skyscanner site where results can be filtered by airline or time if desired.
The tool is so versatile that users don’t even have to enter specific dates at all. Those flexible on when they travel can get a quote for the cheapest flight across an entire month by posting a query such as: “Manchester to Malaga in August”.
The new tool is an evolution of Skyscanner’s ‘FlyScan’ Twitter search facility which was developed earlier this year during a 24 hour ‘hackathon’,
Frank Skivington, Skyscanner’s Director of Sales and Marketing explains:
“The hackathon was very successful in developing the code that could be used to facilitate this type of free text search, but we were constrained by the response limits set by Twitter. Once we realised this we focused our attention on developing this for Facebook instead.
“Travel companies are starting to realise that there is more to Facebook than collecting fans, and we’re proud to have developed a pioneering tool for members that has been created with Facebook users in mind”.
The Facebook search tool is the latest in a range of search tools offered by Skyscanner. Earlier this year the flight comparison site launched an iphone app, with a new improved version available to download on 25 June, while an android app is currently in development.