One of our favorite travel website, Bootsnall, have released their latest product targeted to the indie travel community: a multi-point flight planning tool called Indie.
They claim to be the “world’s first multi-country flight finder,”, this comes as a boon to multi-stop round the world (RTW) travelers. The website is simple, easy to use and provides instant pricing (after sign-up) as one of their core value propositions.
Aspiring RTWers must create an account to search, and then can place any number of destinations into the planner. The tool even provides for overland travel, allowing users to fly into one point and travel overland to a different departure point – a very common aspect of long-term RTW trips.
Having a networking relationship with an undisclosed OTA helps Bootsnall to pull fares from over 500 airlines and compile into individual itineraries. As time goes on, they will also be accumulating historical data to better inform users’ searches.
Indie can provide instant pricing that can be manipulated in real-time to see how different routes affect price. Being able to play around with a proposed itinerary to see what mix of destinations, flights, and overlands will provide the best bang for the buck is most certainly going to be one of the most visceral appeals of this tool.
After choosing an itinerary that suits, users will be brought to the Lowest Price Option that lays out the arrival/destination airports, the departure/arrival times, the number of stops, the airline and both each flight’s travel time and the overall travel time.
Users can then browse other options to find a time/airline mix that works best for them, and can book right there in the Web app after selecting their preferred itinerary.
Other websites like AirTreks and Roundtheworldflights.com require turnaround time, as a submitted airfare quote request must be processed manually and compiled into a fully-fledged quote to be sent back to the customer.
When booking through a travel agent, users are limited to back-and-forth email exchanges and phone calls, which don’t exactly provide the lightning quick turnaround that indie travelers of a certain mindset are used to.
Travelers looking to book directly with their preferred airline alliance are also often limited by mileage caps and total number of stops, as well as required to travel in one direction.