Metasearch is finally climbing into what could be an exciting second phase with news that TravelFusion is developing new functionality to allow full travel plan searches.
The UK-based firm will launch an overhauled version of its consumer-facing website in early-2010 to include point-to-point metasearch featuring a breakdown of time and prices of transportation to and from the main departure and arrival points of a trip.
The functionality is similar to the widely praised, closed-beta only Zoombu metasearch engine, which also has point-to-point search capability.
The TravelFusion system allows users to add post and zip codes in the To and From fields and then returns additional results including taxi or local metro fares and the time required.
Users will also be shown a check-in time for airport departures.
The development for TravelFusion, which has a sizeable B2B business as well as its consumer portal, comes as metasearch hits what some say is an important development period in its history.
The enthusiasm for alert and prediction technology in meta engines such as Bing and Farecompare in the US is expected to reach Europe during 2010 and a number of new entrants, such as Cheapflights, are expected to enter the market over the same period.