"Meta-search" travel services grow

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The Independent Travel

Travel booking engine Cheapflights media has launched a new "meta-search" service to help travelers find low-cost fares.

The company unveiled Zugu as a complementary service to its deal listing sites on February 19. The site is a "meta-search" engine, which fetches airfare quotes from several sources before aggregating them in a single list. Currently, the site can only be used for flights departing from Britain but Cheapflights Media, which operates sites in eight countries, plans to develop the site and roll it out to all markets shortly.

Cheapflights says that Zugu offers wider fields for comparison than other meta-search services available. The site features a slider that users can move to select required departure time, changing prices "on-the-fly" and allowing bookers to view the trade-off between convenience and price. It also displays the prices for multiple adults and children in a single view.

"Meta-search" sites allow travelers to see prices from various sources such as airlines, hotel chains and travel websites such as Expedia in one list. The format has come to dominate the online booking world over the past 12 months, with US provider Kayak.com recently named as a business competitor by Google in the search giant's annual report.

On February 17, Australia's largest travel booking site wotif.com unveiled its new flight meta-search product WotFlight as a complementary service to its hotel booking engine.

Website: www.zugu.co.uk
Website: www.kayak.com
Website: wotflight.com