Wingmap is the beta site for a stunning new flight search tool based around a point-and-click map interface.
Co-founder Tom Wood exlained to TCUKI that the site allows users to search for flights leaving the area surrounding a city – not just the city or a single airport itself. Trying the site it becomes totally obvious what this means and I found it actually makes the process of finding a flight almost fun because it is so visual. I can see this approach suddenly being copied or at least aped by other sites given its ease of use.
In a classic bit of user interface reverse engineering, Wood says: “We realised how frustrating it is when you have to go back to the beginning of your search and try again from another neighbouring airport. We plot flights straight onto the map, illustrating the position of airports – this allows the user to factor in the cost of that long transfer from a low-cost airport outside the city.”
The interface is built for ease of use and claims a 3-click booking process, possibly the simplest on the web, but don’t take my word for it (although it is pretty easy).
The map also offers users geographical assistance, allowing them to mouse-over potential destinations and perform a search without having to know anything about the local airports, or their tortuously spelled names.
Plans for the near future include two-way searching and a more comprehensive list of European cities. These will be included in the full release at due by the end of this year, apparently.
Wingmap is wholly owned by Tom Wood and his partner Thomas Kay who each hold an equal share.