Monday, March 5th, 2007

United updates their web site

Category: Showcase

When I went to United to look for some tickets I had a pleasant surprise. Normally I curse the website, as I do with most of the airline sites.

We are used to some nice usable websites these days. We have rich date pickers and the like. The airlines often have us in old-school land, opening up a new window to select a date and erroring out often.

United has cleaned up its act, giving a more clean looking site and experience.

The search has a nice inline date picker that is fast. I expected that clicking on one-way and other types would change the forms on the fly, so it was a bit surprising to have to req/resp wait.

United Search

The results were simple to use, and selecting different flights dynamically changed the page with new costs and highlighting. A floating div with the cost information staying put at the top right of the page.

United Results

All in all a nice simple experience. This isn’t a Kayak or a Farecast, but for the old school airlines it is a lot better.

Then again, their session management easily broke with the back/forward buttons, giving me fun “NA_error.system.missingSessionAttribute” error messages.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 10:20 pm
4 Comments

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NA_error.system.missingSessionAttribute

as a small time dev that makes me feel so much better to see corporate dev’s mess things up ;]

guess we’re all human after all

Comment by Steve Boyd — March 5, 2007

Funny, I did a review recently of the major airlines web sites and their use of toolkits… I guess that’s what happens when developers get stuck planning for conference season :) http://dylanschiemann.com/2007/01/28/airline-web-site-quality-and-their-use-of-javascriptajax-toolkits/

Comment by Dylan Schiemann — March 6, 2007

I hope others Airlines follow and improve the experience.

Comment by Venkata — March 6, 2007

I know a similar sort of web app that actually uses dojo. It’s actually more an aggregation of services like air/freight/train/hotel/hookers/whatever such as travelocity or similar.

I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about it (though I don’t clearly remember this being something I was told / signed anywhere), but I can say that it gets used by every employee of a certain super power gov. that we may or may not particularly like right now…

Ah well..It looks neat, too bad no one will ever know except people who enjoy color patterns like dark green / brown … :/

Comment by Jesse Kuhnert — March 6, 2007

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