UK-based travel search engine Skyscanner has expanding its offering with a train ticket booking feature that lets users of its iOS app book UK train journeys. The feature is slated as coming to UK Android users shortly.
The company’s travel booking platform already offers booking for flights, hotels and car hire. The ability to search and book rail tickets (without booking fees) is intended to capture more of UK travelers’ spending — given how many destinations aren’t served by a nearby airport.
Train travel can also of course be a preferential option for some trips and travelers.
Skyscanner says the data behind its new rail feature is powered by Trip.com, Ctrip’s new international travel booking service, which will also provide 24-hour customer service.
The Chinese online travel giant acquired Skyscanner back in 2016 for $1.74BN, though Skyscanner remains operationally independent.
While Skyscanner’s new rail feature is currently UK domestic only, a spokeswoman told us it expects to roll out to further international markets “in due course”. Doing so looks aimed at beefing up its competitive edge against the likes of multimodal travel planners, such as GoEuro.
In a statement, Bryan Dove, Skyscanner’s CTO, said: “Being part of the Ctrip group allows us to take advantage of elements of Ctrip’s technology and experience and bring that value to Skyscanner’s travellers.
“The launch of our train booking product is one such example. Our focus has always been on making travel as easy as possible and our new train feature will do just that, with the benefit of no booking fees.”