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Cheapflights launches ‘Drag, Drop and Go’ search

Finding flights to upcoming world events just got easier thanks to new image-based functionality

As part of its commitment to make flight search easy, convenient and fast, global flight and travel search platform Cheapflights has launched a unique new function, Drag, Drop and Go, to make searching for flights to the next major sports, music and arts events as easy as dragging an image.

The proprietary technology combines various image search API’s, ticket platform APIs such as those of Ticketmaster and Songkick, and Google location API, and - of course - Cheapflights’ own flight search API, to enable a user to simply drag the article image over to the accompanying Cheapflights banner ad on the page, drop it, and instantly get the cheapest flight price to go to wherever that image or article is about. So, someone reading an article about their favourite football team can drag the image accompanying the article, drop it in the accompanying Cheapflights banner ad and immediately get flight prices for their next game. Or a music fan can drag an image of their best-loved band, drop it into the site’s ad banner and seamlessly find the best flight price to go to their idols’ next gig.

Cheapflights will launch the functionality today across the Guardian, Telegraph and Mirror newspaper sites and NME.com. More ticketing APIs will be integrated to support a wider roll out across other sports, music and culture sections of UK and global news sites in 2017. There are plans to add more APIs to the widget including theatre performances and festivals.

Andrew Shelton, Managing Director of Cheapflights.co.uk, said: “We’re taking our ‘Smart Search. Made Simple’ concept to the next level by bringing our simple flight search to our media partners' readers. Our new advert widget will find flights to the next sports, music and arts events using an image of an artist or sports team. Global flight search has never been easier. Simply Drag, Drop and Go.”

He added: “There were nearly 10 million ‘event tourists’ in the UK alone in 2014, and it’s a rapidly growing sector among the Cheapflights user demographic with people willing to travel for major sports events, music gigs and art exhibitions around the world. But until now it’s not always been that easy to find the next event and research how to get there. ‘Drag, Drop and Go’ makes it super simple to find the best way to get to them, at the best price.”

How it works:
The technology behind the web banner combines a range of data sources such as image search APIs, ticket platform APIs, location APIs and Cheapflights’ flight search API.

The user drags and drops an image onto the Cheapflights banner, which captures and analyses it, then feeds the detailed content description of the image to multiple service APIs to establish if the photo shows a singer, actor or sports star.

This information is then fed to ticket sale services, such as Ticketmaster, to find out when and where is the person of interest's next public event.

The Cheapflights API is then used to search for the best flights to that event from the user’s location. Flight search results are then sent back and displayed in the banner.

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