When the evening found her waiting for a night train from Virginia to New York, 24-year-old April Rose Cannon wondered why she’d applied to the national flight search tool in an effort to find out more about flights. “I went on it and was like, ‘What is this?’”
Later, from the other side of her train station platform, Elizabeth Whittington shook her head and said the same thing. “I’m just thinking, ‘This is ridiculous. What is this?’”
Touched by the other’s frustration, Cannon decided to take action. She combined her requests for flights with Whittington’s and asked if they could both use the tool.
Cannon was grateful when Whittington answered yes and the two women launched the national flight search tool — WomenflyTogether — to create a way for those with discounted flights to save each other.
“Just the idea of being able to open up that tool so you can talk to someone and help each other get to where you’re going to go, it makes it all that much better,” Cannon said.
Such gestures of love usually play out on Facebook or Twitter, but the pair made their shared flight search a little bit more formal — using a website that lets each member make and keep a calendar of the flights they have available, and try to find like-minded travelers who can help each other.
The flight search tool isn’t limited to alternate, non-consecutive dates. There’s a calendar so both women can use it at the same time, or they can choose to use it at separate times.
Their travel section shows the availability of all the flights they can potentially use together, and they work through flights searching different ways, including direct flights, connecting flights and round trips.
“We’ve been friends since middle school and we were both studying aviation,” Cannon said. “So we both have that knowledge and experience of going through that long flight thing.”
Cannon wants to transfer to Carnegie Mellon University and have a career in aviation. Whittington is working toward receiving her aviation mechanic certification. The pair met while studying at the Aviation College of Maryland, where Whittington was studying aerodynamics.
Since forming their online travel plan, they’ve saved $1,000 on an eight-hour round trip.
“It’s not saving a lot of money, but it’s just that we knew each other,” Cannon said. “We did save money that way and we got to see each other before we left.”
Here’s how it works: When you land at a different airport, you enter your information and Whittington’s online tool will apply the price of each flight to your elapsed time. She and Cannon split those savings evenly.
The pair have been sharing details about their travels on Facebook, and Cannon said Whittington will post about bookings on her own timeline.
“She was talking about giving a flight to a couple of her friends,” Cannon said. “Which I thought was pretty sweet of her.”
For more information, visit the WomenflyTogether website.