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Flight Geek of the Week – Wit Wiech

Flight Geek of the Week – Wit Wiech

Introducing the flight search geeks that make Skyscanner work

Wit2.jpg
**1. What do you do at Skyscanner?**
Make sure the other geeks at Skyscanner don’t put gibberish on the site.

In plain English I ensure that the features which go live on our site work properly. I also manage the Polish Skyscanner branch which is responsible for testing, localization and some development tasks.

2. What kind of flight geek you are?
I am a perfectionist-geek.

3. What best generally describes your travel style:
I know exactly where and when I’m going. Having three kids, you need to know what you’re doing, book early and plan well.

4. What’s your ideal holiday
I love backpacking. I am still thinking about doing a trip around Mediterranean Sea.

5. Who’s your ideal travel companion?
Anyone who can find the positives in a bad situation.

6. Do you fly with children?
Yes. I buy travel insurance for my family, if possible. It has saved me lots of money in the past, as kids can get sick at any time. On my first planned trip with kids to Scotland my children caught chicken pox and I had to cancel the flights, but I got most of the money back. On a trip to Lanzarote my son got sick, but again, thanks to the travel insurance we had great help which limited our expenses.

7. How do you decide where you want to go?
I have some favourite places where my family and I go every school break. In summer it is Hel (a 35km-long sand bar in Poland, not “the” Hell!) and in winter it’s Zakopane, Poland’s premier ski resort. The only problem is what accommodation to choose; I now almost exclusively use the web to find it.

8. How do you decide when you want to go?
School breaks are set by the government so I don’t have much choice with dates. But I prefer to go early season or very late season for lower prices and to avoid the crowds. Going completely out of season is not great though, as many attractions may be closed.

9. What annoys you most about planning holidays?
There are hundreds of choices, but very little information on which is actually the best for you. Many sources do not have a sufficient description, no previous guests’ feedback or even have out of date information.

10. What are you doing in your job at Skyscanner to help?
I scrutinise the quality of the site to make sure that people are getting the info they need. By providing comprehensive results for flight search and up to date price information, we help people to save time and money. You don’t have to go to lots of different sites to check for prices; Skyscanner always shows the cheapest options available.

11. What’s your favourite thing about the Skyscanner site?
The page where you can see the prices across a month, and also the route map. It’s so easy to find destinations on the map and then choose dates with the lowest prices using the “month” view.

12. What’s your dream feature?
Imagine logging on to Skyscanner and typing:

“2 week holiday for my family”.

After pressing ‘search’, the site would guess how many people are travelling, the types of destinations you like, your budget and when you could go. It would then offer a short list of destinations with detailed descriptions, and you could book with single click.

Maybe this is a little way off yet – but you asked about a dream!

13. Favourite websites apart from Skyscanner?
Google Analytics – massive amount of information which is very well presented.
Wikipedia – since it appeared, my encyclopaedia collection has become covered with dust. It was the first site of the “share it” era.
Onet.pl – Poland’s biggest news portal.

14. What’s the geekiest thing about you? Your secret geek shame?
In my laptop’s hard drive, I have some electronic documents which are 18 years old (pre-internet era). I am not a spy though! (which you might suspect from my answer to the next question).

15. Worst travel experience?
Queued at the flight ticket counter for two hours, only to discover that foreigners had to go to a different counter. Waited another two hours at the correct counter, only to find out that all the tickets were gone.

I then went to the airport and bought a second-hand ticket from a guy wandering around the airport (were they fake?). I boarded the flight, but was nervous because the plane made a stop-over that no-one knew about.

On the way back the plane was delayed by twelve hours and to get on board I had to bribe the check-in staff, security guards, stewardesses and pilots, because I didn’t have a ticket.

Guess where and when? Soviet Union: 1990.

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