You recent trip to New York may have seemed like a great deal, but the plane was over-crowded and your layover was long.
There are plenty of sites out there that promote finding the best deal, but for those websites — Expedia and Travelocity, for example — the best deal means only the cheapest rates. I have recently discovered a new site that ups the ante on finding a bargain you can live with.
When it comes to key factors that can help you to decide whether a given flight is worth the money or is one to avoid — factors like legroom, on-time performance, or mishandled luggage rates — InsideTrip provides more than any other travel site I’ve seeen.
According to their website, InsideTrip was founded in 2007 by travel industry veteran Dave Pelter. Offering a truly expert view on buying travel, consumers can find not only the best prices but can also search flights by their “TripQuality” scores. InsideTrip is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
InsideTrip supplies a TripQuality score for each itinerary and seeks to change the way travelers evaluate and plan their trips. Moreover, a chart of itineraries helps users to determine with ease the value of the airfare based on concerns such as duration of and convenience of flight.
InsideTrip’s innovative system can be tailored to your specific needs. If you don’t care about lost bags because you’re not checking one, you can simply chose not to tally that factor with the final flight scores.
TripQuality is also based on 12 unique elements of an airline itinerary:
- Number of stops
- Travel duration
- On-time statistics
- Security wait time
- Aircraft type
- Aircraft age
- Percentage of seats filled
- Connect time
- Routing quality
- Baggage grade
- Gate location
Each flight is given an overall trip quality rating, given as a score out of 100. The top pick is highlighted by a purple flowerlike symbol. There are also symbol ratings on speed, comfort, and ease, presented in five levels that range from poor to excellent. In this way, two flights from SFO to JFK may gain vastly different scores. Now you, as the consumer, can make your choice based on a balance between quality score and price.
Moreover, InsideTrip displays visually the length of each trip, emphasizing any layovers in a bar graphic.
InsideTrip pulls its data from a variety of public and private sources, including Transportation Department mishandled-luggage statistics and Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint wait times. Lost luggage rankings and security wait times aren’t available for international flights.
Finally, because InsideTrip uses Orbitz for airline ticketing and customer service, it airlines like Southwest aren’t included.