In previous posts, Jayce has detailed the use of Flight Connections as a tool that he relies on to plan things like mini-RTW trips with Aeroplan. One of my bones of contentions with FlightConnections was that while it was incredibly useful, it was a bit ugly and somewhat unintuitive. Well, that’s all been changed though there are still some quirks. Let’s take a look at what’s new.
The New Look and Navigation
The first thing you will notice at the new FlightConnections is that it has a new and refreshed look on the front page.
We now see a legend that explains the different coloured dots on the map, which was something that was missing on the old site.
We also see that the ability to filter by Alliance and Airline is now much easier to find.
There are many different ways to use FlightConnections depending on what you are looking to find out. Here are some of the scenarios that you might encounter and how to use FlightConnections in those scenarios.
Point A to Point B
If you are looking to figure out what airlines can get you from Point A to Point B, FlightConnections has you covered. All you need to do is punch in your origin and destination and FlightConnections will do the rest. What’s nice about this new version is that you don’t have to know IATA codes in order to make use of the service. Just type the name of the city and it will find the code for you.
I’ve been looking at a trip to Malta recently and FlightConnections shows me the most direct routings.
Airlines in an Alliance
If you are trying to determine which airlines will fly to where you want to go within an Airline Alliance like Star Alliance, simply turn on the filter and then search for the city you are trying to get to.
You can see that by narrowing down my search to Star Alliance airlines that fly into Malta, I can now see the different cities that have a direct connection.
If you are curious as to what cities are serviced by a specific airline, simply use the airline filter.
Here we can see where Aegean (Greece’s National Carrier) flies.
As with any online software service, there are quirks that some people may find a bit annoying. The one that I run into a lot with FlightConnections is the fact that you have to turn on your filters before you search for origin-destination.
As an example, if I searched for all flights out of Winnipeg (YWG), FlightConnections would show me this:
But as soon as I try to see what Star Alliance routes come out of Winnipeg, FlightConnections resets the city I was looking for and shows me everything for Star Alliance routes. Not helpful.
Why the Update?
It looks like the folks behind FlightConnections are attempting to monetize their site and I for one am perfectly fine with it. I know it takes a lot of time and effort to make something like this work so I fully support this change.
Here’s what the monetization effort looks:
If you are able to support the developers, I would suggest you do so because it’s rare to have such a well functioning and informative website available to Travel Hackers.
If you liked the old FlightConnections, I’m sure you will enjoy the new version. The maps and functionality are much improved and it remains an excellent resource to help plan out your complicated routings.