Skyscanner already has a place among Digital Trends’ collection of awesome travel apps thanks to its ability to surface the most affordable flights, hotels, and rental cars, as well as its ease of use.
Anyone using the app in the U.K. can now tap it for train travel, too. The latest feature, currently for iPhone and iPad but coming soon for Android devices, lets you search for and book rail tickets for trips across the U.K., with no hidden fees added during transactions. To be clear, it’s currently not possible to book Eurostar train tickets from London to Paris, Brussels, and beyond, though hopefully that’s something the team is looking to add.
In a blog post announcing the new feature, which is available now via the latest update, Skyscanner said it had noticed that travelers have been using its service to search for more than 350 destinations in the U.K. that aren’t served by a nearby airport. “Now, they’ll be able to get to their destination by train with Skyscanner’s newest offering,” it said.
Skyscanner’s train service is powered by Trip.com, a recently launched online travel agency owned by Shanghai-based travel operator Ctrip. Skyscanner was acquired by Ctrip in 2016 in a deal worth $1.7 billion.
Trip.com will facilitate train bookings made via Skyscanner and also offer 24-hour customer service in the case of any inquiries or hiccups.
Commenting on Skyscanner’s latest feature, Bryan Dove, the company’s chief technology officer, said, “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.”
Besides the new train options, Skyscanner can also show you the cheapest dates to fly by way of a handy month-view calendar, and you can also set up alerts if prices change following a search. Another feature is its “Top Deals” offering ideas for places to go, and at prices that should leave you with a bit of spending money once you’ve paid for transport and accommodation.
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Skyscanner launched first for the web in 2002. Its app appeared in 2011 and has now received more than 70 million downloads around the world.
Considering the global approach of Skyscanner’s operation, we can expect to see the train service roll out to other markets at some point in the future.
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