Orbitz and the obvious Matt 25 Apr 2005

17 comments Latest by GO777

flight info

This flight starts and ends at different airports, eh? Um, isn’t that true of most flights? Snarkiness aside, Orbitz would be a lot wiser to go with “this itinerary” or “this trip” instead of “this flight” since that’s what the site’s actually trying to explain.

17 comments so far (Jump to latest)

flipp 25 Apr 05

heh. you said orbitz. ;)

i’ve always steered clear of using orbitz after reading that.

beto 25 Apr 05

This is what is called a precious “Duh” or rather, “D’oh!” moment in interface/contingency design.

Asenchi 25 Apr 05

It could also be called a, “Silly Americans can’t sue us now, we told you ALL the details!”

pb 25 Apr 05

It’s referring to the round trip starting in one airport and returning to another. Seems helpful to me.

pb 25 Apr 05

OK, you did see that. So it’s just a terminology question. “flight” seems OK to me. The point is clear. “itinerary” is worse. “trip” would be OK but perhaps confusing if you had other components besides air.

Scott 25 Apr 05

I dunno… looks pretty clear to me.

Kevin Barnes 25 Apr 05

I think they’re missing one that says:
“This is a flight.”
Just in case they thought they were at Hertz.

kingbenny 25 Apr 05

Maybe a simple change like “These flights begin and end…” would make it less obvious-sounding - or maybe not.

In the end, seems like the fact that we’re analyzing something like this shows they must really have a pretty good site.

Garrick Van Buren 25 Apr 05

I was on the team that developed those messages a couple years back. If I recall correctly, the usability tests determined ‘flight’ to be more clear than ‘leg’ or ‘itinerary’ - which though more accurate are less understood.

The label was originally intended for a inter-airport conenction. From this perspective, it looks like you found a bug.

pb 25 Apr 05

So what was the message then for a round trip that returned you to a different city?

Elliott 26 Apr 05

whats your point here?

i think ive missed it.

ryan 27 Apr 05


you’re only showing the return leg of this flight. if you look at the departing leg, you’ll see that you’re probably departing from jfk or another airport in nyc. this is what’s called mac flights in the industry.

for example a typical mac flight is:
departing: jfk -> sfo
returning: sfo -> ewr

while this can sometimes yield cheaper flights, it can obviously be a big potential issue for confusion to customers.

given this problem, orbitz actually does a pretty good job.

ryan 27 Apr 05

sorry that last comment seemed so snarky. but i agree with you on the confusing terminology - they don’t really have a consistent usage of flight vs. fare vs. itinerary.

flight is not the best term in this case. trip or itinerary would be better.

Hrush 28 Apr 05

Maybe they could word it better:
“This round trip starts and ends at different airports.”