idea: flight pickers should mashup with calendars

Date Selectors too Hard to Use

I don’t know about most people, but I don’t fly without a reason. The reasons I fly are usually closely related to events that are often published. For example, lots of people travel on holidays. Other times, people plan for trips using tools like calendars. However, when I’m telling expedia.com (or one of their competitors), I have to use their crappy little date selector. It sucks. I spend a long time fiddling with their little selectors. Occasionally they try to guess for you with ranges like “a week”, or “a weekend” or something like that.

There’s no need for that though. Holidays are well known events. It’d help me so much if I could choose “Thanksgiving week” from a date selector. It’d be faster, better, and cooler, and I could get on with my day. However, it’s gets cooler than well known national holidays…

Not that Hard

Lots of events are published on the web. Here is a list of very well known publishers of events:

There’s no reason these trip planning companies can’t ask you where to get a list of events (perhaps they would even support openID for an even easier experience). They could even subscribe to your events, and let you know months ahead of time when the optimal time to buy a ticket arrives. This would benefit everyone, including airline companies who wouldn’t need to wait for procrastinating trip planners to be assured their seats get sold.

The semantic web is available today. Let’s start doing it.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted October 23, 2006 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Just recommended this to kayak.com using their feedback form:
    ——————-
    Feature Request:
    make it easier to pick dates using
    1.) well known holidays
    2.) published events
    3.) personalized published events
    In my recent experience, I wish I could have just told it “thanksgiving week” (don’t a lot of people travel around holidays?), or even “thanksgiving break at Pepperdine.edu”, or even “look at my google/eventful/upcoming calendar. Or even, “look for hCalendars at my blog”.

    That would push me over the edge to signing up for an account (especially if authentication was openID enabled!). You could subscribe to /my/ events letting me know the right time to buy tickets for events (especially events tagged as ‘travel’) months in advance.

    I’ve outlined this in more detail:

    Thanks,
    Ben West

  2. Posted October 23, 2006 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    That’s a great idea! I can imagine the further semantic-webification of that, too: a link on any conference (or similar event) page to a compatible flight-picker site, which could grab the hCalendar off its referrer and choose flights accordingly.

    Disclaimer: I work for Eventful and I’d love to see such a thing happen, both for business reasons (support that hCal!) and personal reasons (I go to conferences and hate searching for flights).


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