Last week, complex itinerary booking engine Vamo tested a new feature that allowed users to price trips via social media using the hashtag PriceMyTrip.
All users had to do was send a message with the desired city routings to the brand using the hashtag. Vamo then responds with a link to the itinerary for the desired trip — super simple for the user and a smart marketing move to bring searches into Vamo.
Supported language is simply "[ORIGIN CITY] to [DESTINATION CITY]" and can include multiple cities. Tweets can also include other hashtags and mentions of users so that multiple people can get the results of the search — for group or family vacations, for example.
#PriceMyTrip marks a clever way to not only dominate a hashtag that highlights the startup's value proposition but also to actually give users a quick answer to an itinerary pricing question. Searching for any itinerary, not to mention a multi-city one, takes far longer than the time it takes to compose a tweet.
It's hard to imagine why airlines haven't leveraged social streams to offer a booking bot that can at least make it straightforward to make a flight search inquiry.
So rather than going to the homepage, a user would simply tweet "MSY --> SFO Friday June 12" and be sent back a link that populates as a search. It won't change the way most people search but is at least an attempt to build some semantic search into the travel booking process.
PriceMyTrip comes from Vamo, which addresses the pain point of booking complex multi-destination itineraries in one place.
NB: Pricing bubble image courtesy Shutterstock.