Anyone who has traveled with friends knows the hardship of planning flights, hotels, car rentals, tours, activities, and much more with many different people in different places. Often one person has to carry the burden of planning everything or worse, paying for everything up front. New startup Flights with Friends aims to tackle this challenge through Facebook and email integration.
Those who visit the site are prompted to select whether they need flights or hotels (or both) from a departure city to an arrival city. Then you enter the dates you are traveling or if it is a one-way trip and then press the blue “Search” button. Then Flights with Friends will transfer you to a four column page with flights, hotel options, and a map. There is also a column on the right-hand side that allows you to sign in with Facebook and invite your friends to join the service. Then you can chat and book flights and hotels right then and there, all in one window.
For now, Flights with Friends only displays flights and hotels, with the cheapest options first, but the start-up has plans to integrate rentals, tours, restaurant reservations and much more in the future.
When you invite your friends to plan with you via Flights with Friends, everyone in your trip will see the same flights and hotels, and the service will make sure there are enough seats and rooms at the price listed. You can set search filters for the whole group, pin favorite options and see what your friends have booked. The service works best for small groups of 2-9 travelling together.
Currently, Flights with Friends also has a “Concierge” option available. When you click on the link below the form on the front page, you can enter your destination and dates. Flights with Friends will deliver Yelp results for breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner and activities. You can search for activities and book if necessary. Thus Flights with Friends is useful also as an activity itinerary for your trip.
I used the service to browse options for a Las Vegas trip I am planning. It seems fast, easy, and brings lots of options to the table. I like how it brings all aspects of a trip with the ability to book in one place so that you don’t have to check multiple sites. I can see great potential with this service, especially when Facebook’s new Graph Search launches, as tips can be integrated from friends who have already traveled to your destination.
What do you think of Flights with Friends? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!