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Taking you places

May 19, 2008|Scott J. Wilson

Plenty of websites can help you search for a cheap airfare. But what if price isn't your only consideration? What if you also want a trip that's comfortable, convenient and speedy?

This is where InsideTrip.com, a website launched in March, claims to distinguish itself. After you enter your travel dates, the site rates flights based on 12 criteria, such as on-time arrival history, legroom, the airline's lost-luggage record, security wait time, layover time and how full the flight is likely to be.

Each flight is assigned a "trip quality" score from 0 to 100. These scores can easily be customized by choosing which of the 12 criteria are important to you.

For a trip from LAX to Boston in June, for example, InsideTrip said an AirTran flight was the cheapest, but a Delta flight for $13 more got a higher rating largely because it was nonstop and Delta typically offers more legroom. When those criteria were removed from the calculation, the AirTran flight's rating rose above that of the Delta flight.

A nice element of InsideTrip is that, unlike some airfare sites, it always displays the full price for flights, including fees and taxes.

InsideTrip doesn't actually sell tickets; once you've found the flights you want, it will send you to Orbitz to complete the transaction. Keep in mind that it may be cheaper to buy directly from the airline's website.

One nitpick: If you're not using the latest browser software, you'll have to enter your trip dates manually, rather than selecting from the pop-up calendar

-- Scott J. Wilson

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