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Flight Geek of the Week – Martin Burge

Flight Geek of the Week – Martin Burge

Introducing the flight search geeks that make Skyscanner work

**1. What do you do at Skyscanner?**
I manage all non-airline integration partnerships ensuring online travel agents, holiday, hotel and car hire suppliers are represented throughout our search engine.

2. What kind of flight geek are you?
I would say I am mainly a ‘Reluctant Flight Geek’ (or ‘Ginger Geek’ to my close friends).

I take a lot of badgering from my partner to take holidays (but always enjoy time away when I do take it). It is not so much flying that makes me reluctant; it is the mind numbing, cattle herding monotony at airports that puts me off.

Not to mention the constant stripping off at airport security. Shoes? Why do we have to remove shoes? Just because some idiot tried to set his feet on fire once, should not mean the whole world has to remove their shoes. Does it? Well?

3. What best generally describes your travel style?
I know exactly where and when I’m going. I usually only fly for business, so destinations and dates are generally set for me. When taking holidays it is a separate set of criteria, and the choice is generally not mine! As a bit of a gambler, I like the idea of ‘pin-on-the-map’ or ‘destination-in-a-hat’ choosing, but have not yet given that dice a roll.

4. What’s your ideal holiday?
I like my luxury; empty sandy beaches, pool service, no defined itinerary and of course, vibrant night life. When on holiday, I do not want to think or do very much – if I am away, it is because I need to get away.

5. Who’s your ideal travel companion?
If I don’t say “my partner” here I may lose something valuable to me (or both of us?). Most of my travelling is on business, and so I have learned to enjoy my own company for the most part – when on holiday any like minded individual would be fun.

6. Do you fly with children?
Absolutely not! (well, not yet anyway). I would pay a healthy amount to go on a child-free plane on long haul or a child-free resort when I get there. Airlines – are you listening?

7. How do you decide where you want to go?
I don’t! My partner beats me with sticks until I agree with her… Her decision is based (in order) on: expected temperature, proximity to beach, food quality, reviews, then price; which may also help explain the ‘reluctant traveller geek’…

8. How do you decide when you want to go?
All of the above. Whatever dates provide the best of the ‘where’ criteria will determine the ‘when’.

9. What annoys you most about planning holidays?
There is no single place to browse all holidays available, and there is always the concern that a sale might crop up just after booking. Timing is everything when booking holidays, and having to keep track of all suppliers at any one time is a pain.

10. What are you doing in your job at Skyscanner to sort that?
Skyscanner Holidays is designed to achieve comprehensive resort and supplier comparison search, and getting more suppliers in to the results is an ongoing mission. With the pending addition of user reviews to the Skyscanner site, people will be able to make informed choices in a single set of results.

11. What’s your favourite thing about the Skyscanner site?
Innovation. Knowing the behind-the-scenes activity and the people running the site, the dedication to the ‘perfect product’ that drives us all to achieve the impossible is a joy to be a part of.

12. What’s your dream feature?
The ability to search our site from a toolbar on a browser and receive alerts from the searches entered via this history. RSS style route/date alerts in to iGoogle would also improve user interaction, and allow users to be more informed over their future travel planning.

13. Favourite websites apart from Skyscanner (not necessarily travel) and why?
I can’t really mention my favourite ones here; they would get removed by the censors.

14. What’s the geekiest thing about you? Your secret geek shame?
I can solve the Rubik’s cube in less than 2 minutes. I have since gotten a life though; playing World of Warcraft until the wee hours of the morning.

15. Worst travel experience?
I think fat tax is a good idea. ‘nuff said?

Meet more Flight Search Geeks