Global flight search and travel deals website Cheapflights has enabled the world’s first emoji flight search function. It will mean holidaymakers will be able to insert emojis instead of words for their journey origin and destination when they begin a search.
Cheapflights has focused on 40 destinations with popular emojis based on common associations with each of them. For example, users can search using a koala bear and piece of sushi to book flights from Sydney to Tokyo, or a Union Jack flag and a bike for London to Amsterdam.
Other emojis include the four leaf clover for Dublin, the orange for Seville, pizza slice for Naples, Santa for Lapland and the elephant for Bangkok. You can see the full list of emojis for flight search here.
Launching initially as a prototype, Cheapflights is the first flight search engine to use its proprietary search technology in this way, setting the trend for other booking sites that are looking to appeal to Generation Z.
The release follows the June launch of Cheapflights Chat – a Facebook Messenger bot configured to provide flight, hotel and weather-related results when asked. It has already seen more than 15,900 interactions globally. Cheapflights Chat will also be updated to include emoji search functionality.
Samantha Otter, Cheapflights’ marketing director, said: “We want to make travel search as intuitive as possible, and delivering this new functionality furthers our brand promise to make search smart and simple.
“Personalisation is the future of travel search, and this is a further step in that direction, allowing our users to communicate with us in a way they’re comfortable. It encourages frictionless dialogue in whichever setting and communication medium they prefer.
Emoji search is available on the Cheapflights mobile site in select markets globally including the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. It will be available on the Cheapflights app before the end of the year.