App Review : Gopili find cheap tickets for planes, trains, automobiles and coaches.

Sometimes something arrives for review at the most fortuitous time. At the start of almost every year I seem to end up having to do a fair amount of travelling. So the arrival in my reviewer’s box of Gopili, an app that promises to Find Cheap Tickets for UK and European Journeys could not have come at a better time. What better way to test a travelling, route planning and discount finding app than to test it in the real world.

Find Cheap Tickets for UK and European Journeys is the strap line on the website. Gopili caters for all the usual planes and trains but it also includes coaches and car sharing, something you don’t find in most other apps of this ilk.

1459251793 thumb App Review : Gopili find cheap tickets for planes, trains, automobiles and coaches.1459251803 thumb App Review : Gopili find cheap tickets for planes, trains, automobiles and coaches.

All travel journeys are started by choosing the departure date and time. Perhaps I am missing something but I couldn’t see any way to add a return leg to the journey. I reached out to the developers and this is what they came back with:

As our services aim to find the best option for the journey among all modes of transport, it is quite often that the cheapest option for a return journey will involve using different modes of transport. For example, using the bus from Bristol to London, and using the train to come back to Bristol. By displaying the cost of the return journeys by train and the return journeys by bus, it might prevent users to identify the cheapest option: bus on the first trip and train on the way back that is why on the desktop version of the website, the 2 searches are separated (1st search: departure, 2nd search: return).

Testing was problematic. My nearest train station wasn’t available at the time of review but speaking to the developers it is on the list to be added. Gopili would default to coach planning at times or not show any search results at all.

Again talking to the developers, who genuinely seemed to appreciate the feedback, they have been upfront to say that Gopili is more aimed at the major cities and towns for now but there are regular updates happening, working on getting the best results for your journey rather than covering everywhere.

GoPili Plains, Trains, Automobiles & Coaches.

So heading from my nearest city of Swansea to Bath for a job interview the results were as I expected for Trains. National Express coaches were on the list along with the local budget bus provider, Megabus. This is where Gopili can help you to make your journey cheaper. As long as you put a bit of thought into your travelling plans.

Megabus couldn’t take me all the way to my chosen destination, but given how cheap the service is it actually worked out cheaper for me to travel to Bristol by Megabus, and then to continue the journey from Bristol to Bath on the train.

Granted to some this may seem likea lot of hassle. For the budget conscious though, this is an incredibly handy addition. Having all the times, prices and durations on an easy to read screen certainly helps to make those decisions.

Flights.

Gopili scrapes the major airline services and found me a couple of flights, which I already knew about, going from Cardiff to Munich. There were no options for train, coach or car travel but this is hardly surprising given my location. If you have used a flight scraping service before it’s worth using Gopili to see other options.

A cursory check of London to Munich showed train services I’d never heard of before with a huge 50% saving versus flying on selected date. Granted it’s a 12 hour train journey instead of a 2 hour flight but at least you can have option. For some travellers the price can be more important than time – if a 12 hour journey on the train means you can afford to make a trip you might not otherwise manage then maybe that is a small price to pay .

Car sharing.
This seemed to be a feature which popped up quite rarely but nonetheless gave me the option to travel with someone in a car in my fictitious journey of Bristol to London.

Pricing varies from £15 onwards depending on the person, time of day and the journey. Again seeing the pricing and times helps to work out effort vs time, vs hassle. BlaBla car turned out to be much cheaper than going on the train but only marginally more expensive than the bus but was over 2 hours quicker.
If you’re lucky enough to plan a journey where you have the option of planes trains and automobiles you can adjust the filter at the bottom of the screen to tailor to your preferred travelling method.

It does take a few seconds to collate the results for your journey but it is responsive enough not to border on being frustrating. Best of all even though it is scraping many sites you are not going to be bombarded with endless pop-up windows and adverts.

Journeys and bookings are done by taking you to the Gopili webpage via in app Safari browsing. This of course means you’re not handing over any personal or payment information to Gopili

A Few Problems
On a few occasions trying to book through the app, which forwards you to the bookings section of your chosen transport method would hang. Even if on Wifi or 3G using my iPhone 5s netted the same result. To me that’s not a big issue as once I have travel plans in mind I can easily jump on the desktop. The developers have responded, very quickly I might add, to say they are aware of this issue. At times it can take up to 30 seconds to get a response from the providers server and they are working on a fix for this.

Overall on GoPili Finding Cheap Tickets For Journeys

If you’re looking for an all in one travel planner which is quick, efficient, and scraping all of the sites you would probably do yourself manually then Gopili should be a first app to check. So long as you are in a supported area or at the very least, near to one.

Gopili – Cheap tickets for train, coach, flight and ride share is available from the App Store.

Interview With Crystal Developer Dean Murphy. The State Of Adblocking, Inspirations and Life Change. Part 1

Ad Blocking on Crystal

Given the weekends announcement that Marco Arment, the developer of Peace and other great apps, decided to pull his offering, this podcast is strangely on topic for once. It was my great pleasure to interview Dean Murphy of Crystal (crystalapp.co). We cover many topics, so much so that it’s a 2 parter edition of the Rampant Mumblings.

Continue reading