Like most people, I love to travel. When I have time to kill I often find myself clicking around Kayak’s Explore feature, just to daydream about future vacations and see what kind of flight deals are out there for the next few months.
At one point it occurred to me that I was missing a key piece of information – that in order to truly find the best deals, I needed to be able to compare not only the price of flights, but also how far each flight went for a given amount of money. This makes intuitive sense, as a flight out of San Francisco that costs $500 may or may not be a good deal depending on whether it is going to LA or to Tokyo. But for some reason, no existing airfare search site formalizes this mental math by providing an actual distance to price ratio for their search results.
So, in order to make this happen, I made a chrome extension to run on top of Kayak Explore that runs the Haversine distance formula for every flight search result and replaces the raw fare price amount for each result with the price expressed as miles per dollar. This allows me to compare all flights on equal footing, and making it clear that a flight from SFO to New Delhi for $405 (18 MPD) is an objectively better deal than one from NYC to Hongkong for $532 (15 MPD).
I then created Rocket Fares to share my best finds with the world (and also to get more practice with WordPress Development).
Finally, I automated the entire process, so I can create a new post directly from the chrome extension… including sourcing images and adding affiliate links to purchase tickets (My First Content Farm!)