“I beg your pardon Sir. I cannot do that.” Said the Genie that had come out of the magic lamp few minutes back.
“But you said that you were at my service.”
“Sir, I am at your service. I can sweep the house, wash the dishes and iron the clothes. But this task is impossible.”
“How can you say that? What kind of Genie you are? I want to travel to the magical land of middle-east which is your homeland and you are saying you cannot make the arrangements”
“Sir, I am an old fashioned man who has stayed all his life in this humble lamp. Middle- east has changed from the land of fairytales to land of modern architectural marvels like Burj Al Arab in Dubai and Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat. I have never seen my own town for I have been locked into this lamp.”
“Then what is the use of having a magic lamp and a Genie at your disposal? You know how cumbersome booking air tickets, hotels and hiring a cab at tourist’s places is! Moreover it is a foreign land. How can I go without having bookings in my hand.”
“Sir, why don't you log on to skyscanner.co.in?”
“What is it?”
“Sir it is a global travel search site. ”
“You said you have never been out of the lamp. Then how do know about skyscanner?”
“Sir, skyscanner is the latest rage. Even kids know about it. It is easy to use. You can book your air tickets, bus tickets, hotels and even cab on it.”
“Dear Genie. You have anything more to say?”
“Sir, I am a Genie. It is my bounden duty to serve my master. If I cannot make all the arrangements for you, it is my duty to tell all that I can about skyscanner.” Genie took a long pause.
“Continue Genie. I am all ears.”
“Sir, you will get all the options on skyscanner. While booking air tickets you can sort out the deals by price, departure timings, number of stops, journey time and name of the airlines. You can search for good hotels in the area you wish to stay. You can also book car rentals. The good thing is that you have all the options at skyscanner. It offers hundreds of car deals as per your choice and requirement.”
“Genie it must be charging exorbitant money as fees.” I said
“No sir,” Genie said with a smile on his countenance. “The best part is that skyscanner is absolutely free. This is no less than magic in today's ache din days where railway fare is already hiked, onion prices are taking out water from the eyes of common man and gas is the latest to join the bandwagon. Moreover, skyscanner always helps you to book directly with the airline or travel agent. So you get the lowest price with no extra fees. Skyscanner provides instant online comparison for millions of flights over a thousand airlines as well as hotels and car hire. Moreover its search engine provides you flexible search options which means you can browse prices across a whole month, or even a year, allowing you to get the best deals. I don't know about the country's fate, but thanks to skyscanner travellers definitely are going to have great holidays. ”
“Genie but is it safe?”
“Absolutely! Every day it has 25million visitors finding flights that too in more than 25 languages. Skyscanner is into the business for 10 years and employs people of more than 30 different nationalities to give you the best experience.”
“My Dear Genie. If you know so much about it, why can't you make bookings for me?”
“Master, I wish I could have made it. You know I don't belong to the world of smart phones. I still live in the age of magic lamps. I cannot operate a computer. I am telling you whatever I overheard sitting in this lamp. Sitting alone in this lamp I hanker to visit all the beautiful places in the world. I wish I would have been a human, so that I could have been to all the picturesque locations using the skyscanner portal.” There were tears in Genie’s eyes. However he soon gained composure and continued. “Sir, as you are going Dubai you must visit Atlantis, which is the majestic resort in Dubai situated on the Palm, a man-made island that has captured the world’s imagination with its magnificent scale and ingenuity.”
“Genie you have been there?”
“No, my Master. The other day I just heard about it in a travel show on the television while sitting in my lamp when you placed it in the drawing room.”
“Genie you are wasting my time. I should log in to skyscanner and book my tickets.”
“Sir ,if you don't mind can I be with you while you make the bookings. I will feel like I am also travelling to the places in Muscat which have newly come up like Opera House. I am also dying to taste the Arabic coffee in Mutrah Souk, the covered marketplace in Muscat.”
“Genie how do you know so much about Dubai and Muscat when you claim to have not even seen your town?”
“Sir, there was one kind hearted master like you. He was an Arab Sheikh. Many many years ago, I heard him telling this to his young beautiful Indian wife.”
“…and you overheard it?”
“Don't you know it is a bad habit to listen to conversations of others, especially of a husband and wife?”
“I am helpless Sir. Sitting in the lamp that is the only entertainment.”
“So this is the way you heard about skscanner?”
“Yes Sir. I won't tell you the names, but there was a couple who was not getting along. They used fight every day. The husband took her to many places. But on her return from the trips to exotic places, the wife would narrate all the inconveniences which they had in the trip and another round of fight would ensue. The husband's friend told him about skyscanner. He booked Switzerland trip through skyscanner. Since their return, there is truce between the two. The wife has no chances of making any complaints. Now she keeps on browsing skyscanner and has shortlisted many hot destinations for future holidays. Did I tell you that you can see your latest searches on skyscanner on the horizontal scroll bar above?”
“Genie, now please keep quiet and let me do the bookings or else l will ask you to go back into the lamp.” The trick worked and Genie kept quiet.
I logged in at skyscanner using my facebook id. I booked my tickets for Muscat and Dubai. Let me make a confession. I always wished that I was a Genie who need not have to go through the hassles of booking a hotel and could stay comfortably in his lamp. But skyscanner helped me strike the best deal. It showed all the hotels along with their respective pricing on various web platforms. I booked a direct flight from Mumbai to Muscat.
I made by hotel bookings at Muscat for three days. I hired a economy car for all the three days of my stay at Muscat. I booked a flight from Muscat to Dubai. Needless to say skyscanner took care of ensuring a stay at a good hotel in Dubai for four days and a car at my disposal for all four days of my stay. I got the best deal for my return flight from Dubai to Mumbai owing to price comparisons offered by skyscanner. For the first time I did not repent being a Genie. Skyscanner helped me with car bookings as well. It offered to refine the search by car class, features, like air conditioning and free breakdown assistance and fuel policy, like all fair fuel policy and full to full. Indeed when it came to planning a travel skyscanner was more than a Genie from the magic lamp. It provided me the best value for money. Now whenever I see my friends cribbing over making their travel arrangements I tell them log on to skyscanner and travel in a relaxed manner.