Skyscanner Reviews

Updated 11 Aug 2020

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3.4
61%
Recommend to a Friend
33%
Approve of CEO
Skyscanner Chief Executive Officer  Moshe Rafiah (no image)
Moshe Rafiah
7 Ratings
Pros
  • "Work/life balance is also a strong selling point - working from home policies are very flexible and there's no expectation to work long hours(in 47 reviews)

  • "Good work-life balance and flexible working hours(in 23 reviews)

Cons
  • "Squad structure isn't for everyone(in 19 reviews)

  • "Too much consensus decision-making: I'm not sure why they keep promoting this tribe/squad structuring when(in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. COVID-19
    Helpful (47)

    "Dysfunctional, headed in the wrong direction."

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Low pressure environment, it really doesn't matter if your squad doesn't hit deadlines or doesn't deliver any real value. Pay is decent. Low/mid level colleagues are friendly and approachable. You can work from home (WFH) two or three days a week without anyone batting an eye.

    Cons

    The newly installed CEO (Moshe Rafiah) is a mouthpiece for the parent company Ctrip. Devoid of vision and likes to spout empty platitudes. Quite clearly brought in to slash headcount at the company, close offices and cut costs. The company as a whole lacks any coherent vision for the future. Product leadership is weak - the evidence and data led approaches from when the founder Gareth and his appointed successor Bryan were CEO is gone and the usual 'features for the sake of features' mindset has set in. Features are shipped and then teams are reallocated without measuring RoI or the effectiveness of what was added. Long term I see the stagnation of the core product (cheap flight search) as the leadership is running scared from Google Flights and is desperately trying to stay relevant. Product management is overstretched and without focus. All low level product managers within the company were served redundancy notices, leading to the already distant and distracted senior product management to be further overstretched. The more competent offices in the company are being closed and the staff made redundant. The Budapest office contained the bulk of the mobile app experience and expertise and the Singapore office was staffed with hard working and competent engineers and product leadership. Instead the company has chosen to renew its focus on the lacklustre, disorganised and error prone teams in China. Progression is nigh on impossible at the company. Expectations for promotion involve impact and reach that aren't possible given the extremely hierarchical and closed off Tribe/Squad structure that Skyscanner uses. Expect stagnation and stress when at every 6 monthly performance review meeting you're told to stop writing code and to focus on generating more confluence documents, setting up meetings to bloviate endlessly and deliver nothing of value to our travellers. This review sounds extremely negative and you may well be asking "why hasn't this person spoken to their manager" - management at Skyscanner exists to maintain the status quo. If you want to change things for the better be prepared to be called out for your difficult attitude, then marginalised and ignored. The teams in China work distressingly long hours. It's not unusual for them to be responding at 3 or 4pm UK time (close to midnight in Shenzhen). The management in the UK see this as a positive, despite the output of those teams being enabled by other squads in the company and the constant stream of incidents those teams generate. The company has a progressive attitude towards WFH but refuses to contemplate remote working patterns. The initial WFH attitudes were set by the founder and original Scottish leadership. As the company has become more corporate, American and Chinese led these attitudes have ossified and progressive changes to working patterns are dismissed or outright refused. Employees who deliver no value and who do little work are rarely put on performance improvement plans and dismissed. High performers aren't rewarded. It's a culture of "keep your head down and get through the week" that rewards mediocrity over all else.

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    Skyscanner Response

    July 20, 2020Skyscanner

    Thank you for your review. We’d like to state that the proposed structural and centralisation changes are not the decision of a single individual, but rather a regrettable yet necessary move to help us weather the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry. This is a difficult time for all of us but we’re committed to treating our employees with empathy and respect throughout. For those people who leave Skyscanner as part of this process, we’ll do our utmost to look after them, from enhanced redundancy pay for the majority of employees, outplacement support, an Employee Assistance Programme and time off for internal and external interviews. You mention the proposed closure of two of our smaller office, Budapest and Sofia. The current environment means we need to reduce the numbers of smaller, fragmented teams and optimise for co-location, maximising time-zone efficiencies. While we’re very sorry to potentially see such valued colleagues go, we believe this will strengthen Skyscanner’s operations in the long run. We do not in any way expect employees to work long hours: indeed, 89% of our employees believe they achieve a positive work/life blend. Thank you for flagging this may not be the case in our Chinese offices: we will look into this. We respectfully disagree with the statement that we are more American and Chinese lead: our Executive team is majority European and we continue to hold dear the culture and values held by our founders. We believe the fact 90% of our employees are proud to work here and 89% would recommend us to others speaks volumes. Finally, you mention our proposed redundancies programme and your feeling that we did not give straight answers here. To be clear, protecting our people has been a key driver for the actions we’ve taken in the past few months. Our initial measures to protect jobs included freezing all but essential hiring, reducing spend and budgets across departments and a voluntary change in working pattern programme (voluntary reduced hours or voluntary furlough). We were always clear that redundancies were not off the table, but that we would try our best to prevent them. Unfortunately, now, without a clear picture as to when travel will return to normal, we regrettably have had to propose further changes. This is a step we had hoped never to have to take.

  2. "Skyscanner"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer I in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time

    Pros

    Good salary, really good internal mobility.

    Cons

    Some changes in management that make it feel more and more corporate


  3. COVID-19
    Helpful (12)

    "Disappointing"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Skyscanner full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The company offices are very friendly, pleasant places to work and there is a really forward thinking work-from-home culture. Essentially, work-from-home whenever you want. An exceptionally high fraction of employees are considerate, friendly and intelligent. This ranges from intern to executive level. I have never worked at a place with so many pleasant individuals. The company, and all its employees, emphasise the maxim "Traveller first, partner second, Skyscanner third". Everything that is built is done to improve the product for our customers. When you tell someone you work at Skyscanner, they say "wow, Skyscanner is awesome".

    Cons

    Working at Skyscanner is a headache. The largest challenges at the company relate not to the work itself, but to navigating Skyscanner's confusing organisational structure. Teams are scattered across different offices. Projects get prioritised, de-prioritised and re-prioritised according to no discernible criteria. Autonomous squads work towards wildly different goals, collaborate poorly, constantly repeat each other's work and build systems that do not communicate with each other. Internal data is a mess and almost everyone who has worked in a data-related discipline is jaded by it. The greatest positives about the company have been rendered obsolete by covid-19: the friendly office is closed and the forward thinking work-from-home culture duplicated by all other companies. Skyscanner cannot be faulted for this, but it is worth stating nonetheless. More worrying has been the way in which the company has undermined its own values – previously its greatest trait – by its approach to recent redundancies. Everyone within the organisation expected them, and no one will fault the organisation for needing to make them. But the manner in which they have occurred was poor. Communication was consistently unclear and certain senior leaders did not reach out to check in with their employees. There was also a strong disconnect between how employees were previously emotively asked to sacrifice salary to save Skyscanner, and then offered poor severance packages when made redundant. It felt like Skyscanner disregarded the empathy it so frequently preaches. The new CEO is poorly perceived internally, and there is a wide perception that he has been brought in solely to enact redundancies. There is a reason why the vast majority of recent Glassdoor reviews either disapprove of, or have no opinion of, the CEO.

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  4. COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "Great culture and values"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in London, England
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time

    Pros

    Very people centric, even with current downturn in travel due to covid.

    Cons

    Uncertain sector and times will require change although confident existing values will remain.

  5. Helpful (3)

    "Great company culture, but very turbulent"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Executive 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great package, benefits and flexible working policies offered. Most employees also upkeep to the culture of being traveller first so teams focus on delivering the best product and output for travellers.

    Cons

    Big changes come often. Within 12 months, I went through 2 major restructures that cut the team that was once 60 to 70-people strong to 30, and then now to 0. These changes were introduced after a new executive joined the leadership team. First when the CMO first joined and then the second after a new CEO took over. Bad news is, the exec team turn over seems pretty high. So far, a high percentage of the execs when I joined has left. Seems like the company also values/prioritise the commercial(sales) team more than the marketing team. There's also low career growth opportunity within the structure.

  6. Helpful (2)

    "Good to join Skyscanner"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Product Manager in Shenzhen, Guangdong
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time

    Pros

    Lots of smart people from all over the world Culture and people/human

    Cons

    things move not fast enough

  7. COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "Human-centric business"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - People Team 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time

    Pros

    Culture of putting people first.

    Cons

    Travel sector is badly affected by COVId crisis which generates a degree of uncertainty.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to build a career"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer 

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time

    Pros

    It's a great place to build solid experience as a software engineer and learn from talented colleagues.

    Cons

    Prioties might sometimes change frequently.

  9. Helpful (2)

    "Amazing place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Edinburgh, Scotland
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Fantastic culture - Brilliant colleagues - Ability to move around the organisation - Lots and lots and lots of learning and growth opportunities

    Cons

    - Some teams end up pivoting their work more than one would desire

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Great people, but management too slow"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Skyscanner full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Skyscanner was very good at hiring great talent who fit the culture well and were very caring and nice people. People love the company a lot and genuinely care about each other. Great work-life balance

    Cons

    Management is too slow to make decisions, therefore, giving competitors the opportunity to gain market share No career progression

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