Type a Facebook message to find a flight with new travel booking tool

Flight comparison site Skyscanner has debuted a new tool that allows Facebook users to post flight queries using the popular social networking site.

The firm announced June 27 that it had evolved its Twitter flight request tool, which originally launched in March, into a new tool that allowed "free text" flight searches on Facebook.

The tool, which is embedded onto a Facebook page, allows travelers to post simple flight search queries in their own terms, for example "A flight from Paris to New York on July 25."

After the message is sent, Skyscanner's system searches for the cheapest flights and posts them as a comment underneath, which sends an automatic alert to the Facebook user that wrote the original post.

Also included in the reply is a link to the full set of results and information about which flights are the shortest in terms of time.

Skyscanner says that the tool doesn't need specific dates, a feature which will make it useful for those just doing preliminary research - searching for "Manchester to Malaga in August" will pull up the best rates available in August, for instance.

By migrating the Twitter-based tool to Facebook, the Edinburgh-based company could find itself with a huge audience for the unique service - as well as with a potentially huge legion of fans on the social networking site, as users must "like" the page to use it.

However, like other firms such as Malaysia Airlines, which debuted a new flight search tool on the site earlier this year, Skyscanner says that it's trying to engage with users in a more varied way.

"Travel companies are starting to realize that there is more to Facebook than collecting fans," said the company's Frank Skivington.

"We’re proud to have developed a pioneering tool for members that has been created with Facebook users in mind."

Try the Skyscanner tool at https://www.facebook.com/SkyscannerFlightSearch

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