Travel with Flexible Dates: Flight Search Should Help You

The more I browse other flight booking websites, the more I like StudentUniverse.

People always have the chance to travel with flexible dates: say, you have a 7-day Spring break, you aren’t really strict about which day to depart and which day to return; rather, the flight cost often plays a big role in helping you to decide the traveling date, since it varies depending on different dates.

When searching for flights, if you check the “my travel dates are flexible” box, StudentUniverse wisely offers a 7×7 metrics of prices, corresponding to different combinations of departure and return days that are within 3 days of your pre-set dates. In this metrics, pre-set departure and return date combination is in the middle, highlighted with dark blue color; and the cheapest prices are also highlighted with light blue color, trying to catch attention. With this metrics, you could easily decide which combination fits you the best, in terms of both price and schedule.

StudentUniverse: Search Results of Flexible Dates

Compared to StudentUniverse, other traveling agents’ websites are not so considerate over the flexible traveling needs. They only provide the results of exact dates you offered in the search engine. Want to check adjacent dates to see if there are cheaper options? You really need to work hard: each cell in the above metrics means one round of search(change departing and/or returning dates and search again), plus needs to jot down search history so that you don’t forget after so many rounds. User-centered design is small, but it is everywhere.

Search Result from other Websites

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One thought on “Travel with Flexible Dates: Flight Search Should Help You

  1. Mihaela

    I guess I know what you’re doing this Winter break 🙂

    I have seen a similar site display this type of matrix, and it did it even better. Unfortunately, I cannot remember its name…

    Also, I believe Lufthansa (or some other big airline) shows you different price options if your dates are flexible. So, these options aren’t new, but they may be implemented better on this site.

    Reply

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