The price of taking off

A breakdown of the world's most expensive destinations to fly to.

The project

We were commissioned by Wired UK to produce an infographic using data supplied by the travel search engine, Skyscanner. The visual shows which countries cost the most to visit per kilometre in the air.

Generally, the more competitors on a route, the cheaper the flight (except when there are only two competitors, which tends to increase the price).

The process

We explored several ways of plotting the data: from a polar map based layout to circular arrangements where the circumference is based on the longitude coordinates and the distance from the centre the average distance travelled to each destination. Additional variables such as the number of airlines travelling to the destination were visualised by concentric circles.

In the second phase the visualisation adopted a linear layout which plotted the data from left to right - starting with the cheapest flights and ending with the most expensive. The number of airlines were plotted below the graph. We visualised each line as a vapour trail to reference the data's narrative.

The final visualisation used three variables for each flight. First, the average cost of travel shown as the size of the circle. The line (trail) showed the average distance travelled to get to the destination. Lastly, the number of airlines were visualised using simple icons underneath each line.