My picks: Where do I look for my flights? Trabber.com
There are many flight search engines out there and everyone has its favourite, but what's really hard is to find one that really stands out from the pack.
It is not that easy to find a flight search engine that you can trust to deliver consistently the most accurate results, while taking into account the broadest possible range of flight options and being flexible enough to let you set a comprehensive set of search parameters...
I used to be a big fan of Traveljungle, but when it started to return some less than staisfactory results I started to look for alternatives and I can say that after quite a long search that has involved many trial and error experiments I have found a site that meets my expectations of what a great fight search engine should be!
Trabber.com might not be the most well known travel site out there, but I can say is that I am really impressed by its performance. Besides having the sort of features other travel search engines have, such as the ability to look for prices and schedules for flights, cars and hotels across many travel operators and websites, Trabber has some unique elements that I think are well worth the mention.
What sets Trabber apart in the jungle of travel search engines?
Accuracy: I have been testing it, imagining multiple travel scenarios and then comparing the results with those provided by other search engines and with options provided by individual airlines, including Ryanair and other low cost airlines that often do not appear in meta-search engines.
Trabber consistently delivered on this front.
Transparency: as airlines are increasingly unbundling services and charges such as luggage fees and credit card fees, it becomes harder to guess the final price of your trip based only on the actual advertised flight price.
Well, Trabber fixes that, as it provides you information on ancilliary fees charged by the different airlines and you can decide whether to add those to your search results or not (it even provides a break-down of additional charges based on the type of credit card you are planning to use).
More to this: Trabber lets you search not only airports in a given city (for example LON for London versus each of London's airports LHR, LGW, LTN, etc.), but it also lets you search other airports by proximity to your destination (for example, if you search flights to Barcelona you might wish to consider also Girona, GRO, and Reus, REU, airports, as booking engines do not usually provide a "Barcelona-all aiports" option).
User-friendliness: Trabber's user interface is very simple but very efficient at doing what is meant to do, helping you find the best travel options. It is also quite fast and it provides lots of options and filters to customize your search. It even lets you compare the results with those of other search engines.
It also offers a price-based random search option where you can tell Trabber what city you are departing and how much are you willing to pay and it returns you a map-based visaulization of all offers available to different cities that meet your criteria.
Another amazing fact that I found out is that Trabber is led by a two-man team based in Barcelona.
Actually, Óscar Frías and Daniel Katime, the two founders, launched Trabber's first version in 2005, but they have gone a long way since then. After enjoying some initial success in the Spanish market they launched versions in several other European languages and they are now also busy marketing Trabber in several Latin American countries.
My guess is that as air travelers face an increasing number of choices and airlines continue to de-aggregatte many of flight services for extra ancillary income, platforms such as Trabber, that provide an extra layer of transparency, choice and usability should be on the rise...!