Each year in November my better half and I make the trek from New York to Miami to see a (very) old friend. Several years ago I was trying to arrange a trip out to Vegas for PubCon with a return to meet my better half in Miami. I was quickly frustrated when the best option offered by a major airline was Vegas > Los Angeles > Salt Lake City > New York > Miami or some such convoluted route. So, I had to scotch the Vegas part of the trip and just traveled to Miami with my better half.
Most of my air travel over the past few years has been from New York to other major cities so I haven't had to get hands dirty trying to book an overly complicated itinerary. At the same time I just assumed that flight search simply had to have improved over that time.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
We're going out to Southern Cal for a wedding in March with plans to go up to Monterrey and its great aquarium afterwards. Here are the results for flights from Long Beach to Monterrey from a major travel site:
Long Beach > Phoenix > Monterrey
Long Beach > Phoenix > Los Angeles > Monterrey
Long Beach > Phoenix > San Francisco > Monterrey
Long Beach > Phoenix > Yuma > Monterrey
Long Beach > Seattle > San Francisco > Monterrey <<15 hours!
Long Beach > Seattle > San Diego > Monterrey
Long Beach > Salt Lake City > San Francisco > Monterrey
The big problem here is that the data is all there and being thoroughly searched, but it doesn't take reality into account. Instead of the results that were returned, I would much more appreciate a blurb along the lines of "You can't easily get there from here. We suggest you look at alternate departing airports. Here are results for flights departing from LAX, BUR and SAN."
Which is what I'm about to do right now.
Now this great, United offers a flight from LAX to MRY for $145. But, in case I don't want that, It also suggests LAX to SFO to MRY for a mere $650 more.