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GoEuro iOS Travelling App.

Holiday season is here and yet whilst it might be the season to be chiling out, maxing and being all cool, trying to book your holiday / day break / long weekend travel can be a royal pain in the butt.

Taking public transport, leaves you working out that thorny equation of price vs time vs aggravation. GoEuro aims to take the pain out of this, and it has one feature to make it stand out from other similar apps.

Interface-wise there’s nothing to boast about, practical with enough features to filter results which are initially sorted by cheapest first.

Searches cover trains, coaches and planes with GoEuros differentiator from other similar apps being on flying, getting to and from your chosen airport. More on that in a moment.

Keeping things local I plotted my first GoEuro journey from my home home town to Bristol. At a glance cheapest prices per travel method are shown at the top. With the train costing £39 and taking 3h 28m vs coach £20 at 6h 15m I’ll save my sanity and pay the extra for a significant reduction in journey time.

Sadly coach offerings are limited to the UK’s one main carrier, National Express, excluding the very cheap Mega bus service. Trains searches cover pretty much the whole of the UK and look thorough on a few cursory glances to foreign places I know. Flight information comes from a couple of flight comparison services primarily Fly.co.uk and Skyscanner.co.uk.

Flying is where things start to get really cool. Other apps make you select an airport to fly from, GoEuro instead lets you select a location and this is where the differentiator between this and other similar apps comes into play. [1]

To test this I put my starting location in as my local town and destination of Munich. Enter date, tap go and let GoEuro work out the magic.

The whole journey is pretty much taken care off including with train journeys and flights being sorted at least in the UK.[3][4] On distance shorts (Munich) it simply leaves you saying Public transport with no option of booking tickets for the foreign side.

   
img GoEuro iOS Travelling App.

Same train, same time, same everything yet two different booking screens, both of which horrendous to use in a mobile browser.

When it comes to purchasing things start to fall apart. On my selected flight with FlyBe I’m whisked to Fly.co.uk in an embedded Safari webview. Sometimes things loaded fine, other times I’m left blankly staring at a white screen wondering if anything will happen as there’s no progress bar or indicator. Skyscanner bookings faired better.

If flights were bad enough transit purchasing via Raileasy.co.uk was much, much worse. Despite a declaration of “Preparing your reservation” one or two things are going to happen on the booking screen. Either it will populate with the information you’ve already entered or it doesn’t.

Booking a domestic journey from my home town to Cardiff, RailEasy came up as the vendor. One tap later I arrive at the booking screen with my date and departure all nicely selected for me

Time to broaden the Horizons so in the next test I travelled from my Home town on the same day as my previous test bu this time to Munich. Despite the train selection being exactly the same as my local travel test, this time I was taken to a completely different looking booking screen with only the date already selected not the time.

Meaning if you forget the time of travel you are left clicking back out of the bookings screen, finding the transit time, re-clicking purchase and manually making those selections. It’s odd, inconsistent and frustrating the same journey means more work.

The site in question Raileasy doesnt provied a good browsing experienced on a normal desktop looking like a site designed back in the 90’s and you can forget about responsive design on a mobile browser.

This places me in the reviewers predicament. GoEuro has a solid engine to power searched but is at the mercy of third party websites, some of which I’m almost sure bump the prices up ever so slightly if you repeatedly search for them.

Other new updates for the latest GoEuro update includes profile creation, saving name and credit card details. However profile creation uses Facebook and I’m way to paranoid for letting that service know more about me even if GoEuro is only access your public profile, email address and doesn’t post to Facebook. Don’t let my paranoia influence you as creating a profile is not mandatory.

GoEuro has a decent scraping engine with the App itself really only having a few niggles to complain about but the experience afterwards leaves a lot to be desired.

Being bounced from an app experience to a webview which sometimes populates information and sometimes doesnt make for a frustrating time. Couple that with no forward or back controls if you make a mistake during the booking process youre pretty screwed.

For example your purchasing on foreign website and change the language. Somesites will bounce to you to the home page in your chosen locale but then how do you go back to your booking or navigate back if you mis click something?

You could use GoEuro as an accessory to finding the information and then booking via desktop but that might defeat the point somewhat.

Despite the third party flaws and webview let downs, if you are looking to go away or often need travel info whilst out and about this new release of GoEuro is a fine update to an already sturdy offering.

[1] Apps that I’ve tried so far which were sent in for review.

[2] Actually there is no train to Cardiff airport but to it’s town. A shuttle service runs a bus service which costs £1.00

[3] It’s offered me an interesting changing point rather than Swansea it’s determined to make me wait at a platform in the middle of no where for some odd reason.

[4]Cardiff airport doesnt have a train station. The town does and a shuttle service runs often but it’s a worry to say you can get to the airport without 3rd party help. (https://www.cardiff-airport.com/by-rail/)

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