News One Stop Shop for Multi-hop – interlining explained

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One Stop Shop for Multi-hop – interlining explained

Skyscanner’s new service spares you all this time-consuming effort, and saves money

For those of you new to the term, interlining makes it easier for the customer to book multiple flights to a chosen location where a single, direct flight is not available. Previously, booking multiple, connecting flights like this has involved trawling through countless websites and calculating connection timings whilst also comparing prices from different sources.

Skyscanner’s new service spares you all this time-consuming effort. Rather than doing the “leg-work” yourself, Skyscanner shows you the combinations of flights, prices and timings you will need to know in order to plan your journey. All you need to do is uncheck the tick box which says "Direct only" when you do your search.

For example, imagine you wish to take a single flight from Glasgow to Hong Kong on 22nd September 2008. There are no direct flights and so a transfer is inevitable. At the time of writing, Opodo’s best offer is £307.70 using two scheduled airlines with two stops.

Skyscanner however, found flights on exactly the same date (with a search time which is significantly faster than the others) using EasyJet and Oasis Hong Kong Airlines for just £250.89, a saving of nearly £60. By bringing together airlines in less obvious combinations, Skyscanner is able to offer real savings to the consumer.

Interlining is not a new concept – many of us will have booked flights on multiple airlines to complete a journey. What is new however, is that previously it has not been recognised as an industry-standard method of organising air travel and convenient technologies were not in place to make booking easy for the independent traveller. As low-cost airlines continue to expand their position in the marketplace, interlining will become an increasingly important aspect of travel for many of us. Plans for low cost flights from Europe to America and Asia are already well underway and the choice of destination for the adventurous traveller is growing all the time.

Traditionally, offering an interline service has been an expensive proposition involving complicated, formal agreements between carriers with the costs ultimately being met by the traveller. As a consequence, the low-cost airlines have avoided interlining and simply offer point-to-point flights.

Although luggage check-in and connection timings remain the responsibility of the passenger, Skyscanner believe that many passengers will take advantage of the service due to the major savings involved with using low-cost carriers. Skyscanner’s search capabilities bring together the scheduled and low-cost airlines in an informal, original and efficient relationship. Their unique search technology has always been at the forefront of the airline flight market but with this latest offering, they once again continue to forge ahead of the competition.

Prices quoted correct as at 20 January 2008