90di travel search blog

Posts Tagged ‘flight search’

International flights on 90di

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Not sure, if you knew that you can also search International flights on 90di. The feature has been there for a while, but we did not mention it too much, as we were reliant on a single provider for that. But now, we have improved it a bit, and so perhaps time to tell you all about it.

There are lots of Airlines in India which travel international with one end of the journey in India. So we provide flights from Jet Airways, JetKonnect, Indigo, Spice Jet and Air India Express directly from these airlines.

Also for these (inbound/outbound flights to/from India) and all the other flights of the world we show flights from Expedia.

Some example queries:

1) Some popular routes from India – in these cases we show flights from the Indian carriers and also from Expedia
Delhi to Dubai flights on 20th
Chennai to Singapore flights on 22nd and back on 24th

2) Pure International flights – these we show from Expedia
SFO to Dallas flights on Sunday

3) Some other routes connecting smaller Indian towns with places abroad – Jet Airways and Air India Express do a good job of covering these routes
Lucknow to dubai flight on sunday
dubai to amritsar flights on next friday

Please do try it out. And give us your feedback. Last but not the least: please do remember to review the choice carefully before booking.

1021789

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Yes, 1,021,789! That’s the number of travel searches you did, dear users, on 90di.com in the last month.

We are ecstatic to reach the million search mark. And thank you all all for it. We love you for it. And hope that you celebrate with us, by doing more searches on 90di.com, and by spreading the word about us to your family and friends.

We believe in our model, and think its the best model to exist for travel bookings using the Internet.

We would also like to thank our partner Airlines on this occasion.

Indian Railways, we would request you to help us more, by being open. Give everybody an API. It will allow innovation to happen in this field. And people will love you more. Also allow us to make some commercial use of it.

Our Bus partners, we thank you.

Also open source software communities, we love you. We thank:

1. Linux: Where we develop, host and run our stuff.

2. Java and its eco system with lots of other open source libraries, created by the erstwhile Sun. Oracle, please-please don’t screw it up.

3. Apache web server – You never crashed in some 4/5 years of run! Need anything be said in your praise. We love you.

4. Tomcat and Jetty: We have used both of them, in various mixes at various times.

5. GWT: Thanks Google and GWT team for building such a cool piece of software. That said, the roadmap does look uncertain, and we will be forced to move to JQuery, or such, if you don’t dispel the doubts with actions in terms of some solid releases.

6. Demo Recorder: Its a brilliant piece of software to record stuff on linux. And it has helped us saved the day, during one presentation, when Internet connection died.

7. libevent: In our experience, libevent provides an excellent base to serve requests, if you want to code in C/C++, with perhaps 1/3rd the memory requirements of Java and twice as fast.

8. Eclipse: The IDE we use to generate our Java code.

9. vi: The best editor in the world, if you conquer it. For those, who have not had the pleasure of using it – Its the editor for coding C++, and shell scripts, and what not!

10. Memcached: The fastest way to cache some objects, and any thing. With the lowest possible memory & CPU footprint.

11. subversion(svn): For help managing our source code control (I know, I know, some people might say “You are not on ‘XYZ’ yet!”. The answer would be ‘will the change the shoe if it pinches me some where, not because some celebrity said, it pinched him!’)

12. MySQL: The best open source RDBMS, in the world.

Also, although not open source, we would like to thank Amazon AWS, for providing the best cloud services in the world. Which allows guerilla fighters, to more effectively compete with the corporates with armies!

Travel Search actually saves you money, and more …

Monday, June 27th, 2011

The inspiration for this post is, some of the feedback, we got on our facebook page recently regarding savings some travellers, were able to make while using us to find the best flight/train and booking directly (at Airline or Railways site).

One user was able to save Rs. 2018/-. Where as another found a flight for 3.5K on our site, where as some of the big Online Travel Agents (OTA) were showing it for much-much higher!

We also did a post explaining our travel search model some time back. Here is a fresh take on it:

  1. Internet is about removing redundancies, and also superficial intermediaries. And that is primarily by virtue of making the information flow, easily possible, between entities (peoples & systems).
  2. In an ideal scenario, on the Internet, when user wants to book a flight, information from all the Airlines should just flow into the user’s tool (computer/any thing), without any intermediary. There is a seller there is a buyer. The two kinds are sufficient for the trade to happen. And both need each other. Every thing else, can be dispensed with, if not helping the trade, by adding value.
  3. Let’s say for the moment, that no intermediary exists, whether its the OTAs, or travel search engines like 90di. This removes the intermediaries, but then what happens is: User has has to open 10 tabs in the browser, one for each Airline, and one perhaps for IRCTC. So it will be kind of painful for the user.
  4. So basically, some kind of tool is required to make the travel booking process easier. To assist and assimilate the flow of travel information.
  5. But the question is where should the tool stop – meaning what all features it should not have. If it goes on to do booking on behalf of the user, and by that it adds to the cost of travel – hefty commissions; and the double cancellation charges (one to the Airline and one to the OTA). And thereby starting to drain the travel booking eco-system.
  6. More over, Airlines can’t pass on some of the advantages to consumer as part of the booking – For example purchasing food at the time of booking. This particular aspect is a lose-lose proposition for both the Airlines and the traveller. As user is constrained by the limitations of the “generic-for-all-Airlines” features provided by the OTA. And the Airline can’t ‘demonstrate’ more value to the consumer upfront.
  7. So it seems obvious to us, and hopefully to many of you reading this, that travel search engines are the kind of tools you need for travel planning, and nothing more. Anything more – like the booking – and the tool starts to come in your way.

We are glad to be of value to our users. And although, there are some difficulties(+), we try and continue, in the belief, that we are instrumental in the travel search model getting established in India. Which, we believe, is in the best interests of both the suppliers (like Indian Railways and Airlines) and, equally if not more important, for the consumer. We didn’t just say it when we said ‘We are on the traveller’s side’!

 

+ Difficulties like not getting paid by all the Airlines yet — it’s taking some time. And not making anything on the trains’ search – Indian Railways does not yet support the travel search model (although we are hopeful, and have been patiently following up with them). But there are silver lines. Big Thanks to the Airlines that pay us, we are able to keep ourselves motivated and, which reinforces our belief in this model.

90di has a new UI!

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

The blog area has been silent for a while. We had been working on a lot of behind the scenes stuff – on improving the quality of the 90di search engine.

And now, we have some good news to share on the front-end too. We just upgraded the UI to, what we think, is a much better layout. It tells upfront what all travel services we provide. For example, many people do not know yet, that we do have Buses, along with Trains and Flights.

Also it should be easier to navigate for people with different needs. For example people, who want to search using a form. But please do not worry, we have retained the default as “natural” (free-text) search, as that’s what you folks, mostly use, isn’t it?

Do let us know, if you like it. Particularly, requesting you to let us know, if we inadvertently, made any things more difficult, which were easier earlier.

Here is how, the old UI (home page) use to look (for comparisons sake):

old_ui_screenshot

Below is the new UI (in the red shade — which narrowly missed, cutting it in the final release):

new_ui_red

You can try it out here.

Mail based search – now get search results in your inbox!

Friday, June 19th, 2009

We have launched mail based search feature on 90di, wherin you can send your travel search queries in subject field of email to the emailID 90di.com@gmail.com and you will get your search result in your inbox within minutes.

Search query should be normal free text based search query. For example if you want to find flight fares between Mumbai and Delhi on next Friday, you can send an email with suject Mumbai to Delhi by flight next friday and you will get the results in your inbox.

Along with the booking link tele booking numbers of all the airlines are provided so that you can call the airines directly and book your ticket.

For train availability, just start your query with keyword “AVL” and provide all the required information. For example for availability for train number 1014 between Bangalore and Mumbai your query should be AVL train 1014 SBC to LTT on 07/Jul/2009 2A

Try it out and let us know your thoughts! 🙂

Improved flight search results – connecting flights with single booking

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

We are continuously trying to improve our search results along with other enhancements. In this effort, we are now showing the connecting flights from the same service provider which you can book in one single click.

For example if you search for “Goa to Kolkata flights on sunday“,  you will see the connecting flights which you can book in one single click.

Connecting flights with single booking

Fig: Connecting flights with single booking

Improved flight search – Route Ranking for flights

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Last week we released Route ranking for trains. Now we have it for flights too. Once you click on the stars which depict the rating you see a pull down as shown in picture below:

flight route rating dialog

flight route rating dialog

You can see the the 90di engine tries to analyze a lot of parameters that makes sense for a flight journey, e.g. the carrier type, overall duration etc. and gives a ranking to the route on a scale of 10.

You can give your opinion on the engine’s analysis as well as give comments about any aspect of the route.

We intend to use your comments to improve the engine’s analysis and ranking further over time.

Your comments are most welcome.

You can now search for 3-leg routes on 90di!

Monday, July 7th, 2008

We just made an enhancement to our travel search engine!

With this change, we start to show the results for places to which you can not reach within a single change (or using just 2 trains or flights). Here are a few examples of the kind of travel questions we are able to answer now, with this feature:

1) How do I travel from Birur to Bareilly?

For example if you search for trains from Birur (a small place in Karnataka) to Bareilly (a place in U.P). Then you need about 3 trains (2 changes) to do that, as its not possible to travel by any less (Except on Friday). And we try to get and show you the best routes possible for this particular journey.

2) Another example: Kandla – Dimapur

Kandla is a place in the western part of Gujrat and Dimapur is in the far eastern Assam. There is no direct train between them. Also if you look for options with 1 change there is just 1 (via Delhi). But if you are okay for 2 changes you get whole lot of options. The 2 change options are more practical too as typically you can take a flight (or a fast train) for the 2nd leg (or the major leg) of the journey.

So just try doing a few searches on  90di  and tell us how you find this feature.

(Hint: Select any two random stations in India and do a search, most likely you will get an answer! This is not most often possible with the search showing only upto 2 legs.)

We hope that this feature of showing 3-leg flight/train routes has really enhanced our  coverage in terms of being able to give an answer in terms of travel between the remotest of locations in India.

Also the search finds out the best route possible (if you use the TRAIN + FLIGHT search) via any flight or train. The same things also works very well, for just for trains or for flights.

As always we would love to get any feedback on this feature.

Usability Improvement

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Hi All,

We sincerely acknowledge your feedback and inputs on 90DI. We have made several small changes which will simplify the usage of our website and also increase the speed of the search results.

Some of our users told us that they are finding it difficult to get a particular railway station in FROM/TO text boxes. We are grouping (mapping) the railway station/airport in/near a city. Earlier we were listing only the cities (and unmapped stations/airports) by default, but there was an option to list the railway stations/airports also. Since you found it difficult to use, we changed our approach. Now we show all the cities, stations/airports by default with clearly demarcating them. You can change this to list only the stations/airports or only the cities.

For Flight search, we are done away with the FROM/TO text boxes. Now we have the pre-populated drop-down boxes which will have all the airports listed. This will again ease the Flight search.

What we observed is, most of the users use one-way search instead of round-trip. So we made one-way search as the default search.

We have tried to increase the speed of the search by first getting all the direct routes and then getting the multi-leg routes, if required. Also, now we show only the available flights.

Please give your thoughts on these.