A list of really cool sites for frequent fliers

From time to time I like to share some aviation-related sites or apps I have come across...and, while the jury is still out as to the success of social seating apps that some airlines hve been launching recently, other startups are focusing on sorting other types of problems, such as refining flight search results...

Yes, I know this is hardly new, there are tons of flight searching engines out there, however most search result pages remain incredibly dull...

Hipmunk has devised a very visual flight search results page and has also included the concept of "agony search" to the mix, that means that their algortithms take into account the inconvenience caused by stopovers and total travel time and has wrapped this up in a fresh, visually-appealing interface.

With this system you can get the equivalent of a flight options "visual map" and even hide or display several flight combinations from the same airline. I must say, I have not tested whether the effectiveness of Hipmunk's system when it comes to finding the best prices, I really hope it matches its user-friendliness!

A snapshot of Hipmunk's visual flight search, here showing results for a London to Melbourne flight

Not all flights are equal and often it is the small details that make all the difference, but flight search engines do not provide much in depth information about the sort of amenities you can expect in a flight. This is precisely what Routehappy is aiming to fix. This startup, whose site is currently in beta, gives you flight options based on a rating of passenger experience. It not only integrates reviews from fellow passengers but it also provides information about amenities such as in-flight wi-fi or meals, an information that I am sure many passengers would find useful when comparing between different flight options.

Last but not least, another cool airline-related site that I have discovered and that I am sure many frequent fliers and aviation enthusiasts (I am counting myself in!) will enjoy. The idea of having a flight log where you keep track of all your flying is not exactly new, but what I really liked of Flightdiary is its cool, map-based interface that integrates all sort of statistics about your travel activity. Great design that makes of Flightdiary an extremely user-friendly and enjoyable site.

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