I hate all airline booking sites, ever

October 2, 2006

I really do. I can’t think of a single airline website that’s simple and intuitive to use.

I was looking at Malév just now. A perfectly normal, inoffensive Hungarian low price airline. Did their online search work? No. Did they have web pages with schedules or maybe a PDF download? No. They had…

evil-malev-1.png

A strange, complicated “e-timetable” which works with Windows, Palm and Pocket PC, but not Mac OS X of course. It’s probably a Java app which would run perfectly well. Never mind. Let’s try searching again…

picture-2.png

Oh well. You don’t want to know. Fine.

Bye bye, Malév.

I’ll keep searching. There’s the Thomsonfly site that advertises flights to wherever you’re searching for in Google. Which then vanish when you go to the site. There’s BA. Who make you pretend to book to find out simple fare and time information. There’s Ryanair, which is bright yellow, and lies about the prices. And easyjet, which is bright orange. And I could go on…

Furthermore, there no single, impartial site that lets you search for a destination and work back from there. Skyscanner.com would be great, if it had more than two airlines. And decently written JavaScript.

Actually, it may be my habit of using Camino, but airline website javascript does seem to be particularly badly written, and tends to bring my machine to its knees.

The upshot? I waste hours in frustrating, semi-circular searches. I come across the same information presented by three different websites, and none of it is right. I open two or more browsers, and the computer’s UI locks up for seconds at a time, and I curse and swear and drink coffee and get angry and drink more coffee and then swear again. Honestly. It all makes National Rail Inquiries look like the epitome of speed and intuitiveness, which is funny really, because it isn’t. But that’s another post.

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