TripAdvisor, the giant of user reviews, keeps inventing ways to wring value from its supersize community. The site first moved into the world of airfare meta-search in 2009, but today it announced a feature that helps it stand out from the pack:
This being TripAdvisor, you now get to see how other travelers have rated the airline on eight measures, such as baggage handling, check-in experience, punctuality, and seat comfort. Users can give ratings (but not full reviews yet) by logging in through Facebook or their own TripAdvisor account.
A fees estimator is also another first-of-its-kind perk. Search for flights on TripAdvisor, and you'll see results that account for fees for checking one bag—letting you see the total price up-front in the results. Click on the price including a bag fee to refine the results further. Tell the site how many bags each passenger is checking and whether any passenger has status in a frequent flyer program that might waive fees. The results will be re-calculated to your exact situation.
What will be next? Prominently displayed user reviews of airports and entertainment? Reviews and ratings of rental car services? We're eager to find out.
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