A flight-booking web site is promising to make finding well-priced one-way fares easier for flexible travellers like digital nomads and remote workers.Canadian tech entrepreneur Ishmael ‘Hans’ Desjarlais created the FlightList site from scratch when he realised that existing flight-booking web sites didn’t provide the flexibility that he needed in order to find the best-value deal on flights based on his flexible schedule. After having been launched on curation and sharing site Product Hunt in February of this year, FlightList now figures in the top 10 most up-voted platforms in the travel category.
Conscious of fees charged by airlines for changing return dates, Desjarlais says he doesn’t always find truth in the general belief that buying two one-way tickets is much more expense than one return ticket. It seems he’s not alone – digital nomadism and remote work are growing trends around the world, and with them has come increased interest in the flexibility afforded by one-way flights. According to the Airlines Reporting Corporation, the popularity of purchasing single airline tickets is growing.
‘The data clearly indicates a shift to one-way ticketing,’ reads the corporation’s Myth-Busting the Cost of One-Way Tickets study from last year. ‘The percentage of one-way tickets (vs. roundtrip) has grown by almost 45%, from 29% in 2014 to 42% so far in 2017.’ Travel & Leisure magazine, meanwhile, summarised that ‘the long-held belief that it is better to purchase round-trip tickets whenever possible to get the best fares, is simply no longer true’.
But Desjarlais was frustrated by how ‘clunky and annoying’ mainstream flight-booking sights made the process of searching a wide range of dates for a one-way flight, rather than needing to ‘enter a specific date and then select a calendar to view the cheapest price for each day of the month’.
‘If you select a different date from the calendar, you can view flights for that date,’ wrote Desjarlais in a blog post on Medium. ‘But what if I want to filter flights across a date range?’
He set about creating a platform that allows users to do just that. Now launched, FlightList’s main premise is that it lets you search for one-way flights not just by specific date but over a period covering any two dates of your choice. Search for flights between Bangkok and London on any date between 01 June and 02 July, for instance, and you are presented with a cheapest-to-priciest list of all your options, with all the relevant information to help you make a choice available to view on one handy screen.
Results can be filtered by airline, departure time, and the number of stops on a journey, and custom-sorted by price, date, or travel time. It’s also possible to display the price fo each journey in a range of currencies.
But that’s not all – FlightList has other interesting features, too. It allows you to leave the destination field blank – great if you’re looking for inspiration as to where you might go as cheaply as possible – and it even allows you to set an entire region as your start point rather than just a specific city or airport. For example, you can choose to search for flights departing to your preferred destination from anywhere in Europe, great if you’re in Paris but can easily make a quick hop to another European city if it means making big savings on a flight from there.