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Yahoo! launches FareChase - cheap travel search engine

Find cheaps fares combined with Yahoo! mapping technology

     
1:36 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Seems pretty good - I still prefer just using JetBlue or Mobisimo though..

The FareChase program will give the best price for planes, hotels and package deals under a single search effort.

The program will also combine the Internet search engine's mapping capabilities so that users can see maps and images of their destination.

Article on UPI [upi.com]

2:13 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One more reason for them to eliminate the competition
from the search database. and they call themselves a search engine...
3:07 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Y purchased them a while back. This is just the official launch. As a competitor of FareChase, I can say that Y is still treating us well. We have very high rankings on many key terms, in fact most are way above farechases rankings.
3:17 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how long it will take before Google has something like this.

I've personally never been able to make my peace with the travel sites. I've always been able to get a similar or better deal booking directly through the hotels' website.

3:25 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Kufu,

You will always find the best deals directly with hotels, flights are a totally different matter, in fact you probably will get the worst prices from the airlines directly.

3:31 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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travelin cat,

Thanks, that's good to know.

It will be interesting to see how far reaching the search engine services will end up being. I can't imagine them stopping this type of expansion.

3:59 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You will always find the best deals directly with hotels

Travelin that's not accurate. Consolidators, esp the big ones, often have lower rates than the hotels offer directly. I even had a situation where a hotel told me they could not even *match* the price I could get for their own property online from a consolidator to whom they'd have to pay a large commission. This is stupid for the hotel but the sytems are not well integrated yet, esp. at the mid and smaller properties.

There is no simple way to get the "best rates" for flights or hotels - you need to surf multiple sites. I doubt the Yahoo tool will be comprehensive but it's a step in the right direction for consumers.

6:10 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Joeduck, perhaps I should not have used the term "always", but in fact most people in the general population will indeed find the best price through direct contact as most do not have a clue as to what a consolidator is.
6:38 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i'm not sure where that's coming from. airlines often advertise publicly that they can get the best deals on hotels--as do travel agents. Its less administration cost and marketing for the hotels if they make partnerships. However, such partnerships would not succeed if it was typically the case that one could go directly to the hotel and buy for cheaper prices.
11:48 pm on Apr 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is another case where using URLs would be helpful in the explanation, but by "consolidators" I mean the household name online places everybody knows as well as the smaller consolidators. Example: Last week I used a small flight consolidator to book Delta to Boston and paid about $100 less than the cheapest fare Delta had online at the same time. [edit - travelin noted this type of advantage over airline sites in his post as well though I'm saying it also is true with hotels].

This situation is common in travel because pricing is very market driven and surprisingly inconsistent both for flights and hotels.

As a travel publishing guy I know how some of the deals are cut and it's a very sloppy and counter-intuitive process where some consolidators will force properties to sell them blocks of rooms far below rack rate in exchange for a guarantee of selling those rooms.

If, at the last minute, the consolidator has a lot of rooms left they may sell them at rates far below what the hotel will charge if you call them. You especially see this in places like Vegas.

All that said I think the hotels are getting smarter and some provide a low price guarantee at their own websites, so you are certainly right that you should check the hotel site as well as other places.

3:47 am on Apr 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've read that the common travel sites that regular folks like me would visit (t----city, etc.) will take note of your visit in a cookie, and if you check back the next day the prices will have been raised because now you're regarded as an easy mark. Does anyone know for a fact whether this is so? (I suppose you could check from your machine and simultaneously from a different, unused machine and see if they give you different prices.) I have to book a rather expensive flight next month, and can't afford to make browser mistakes that will cost me $100s.
5:52 pm on Apr 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"perhaps I should not have used the term "always", but in fact most people in the general population will indeed find the best price through direct contact as most do not have a clue as to what a consolidator is."

I believe this depends on the market. In my market, the hotels have contractual relationships with large hotel booking sites and *many* of them will not match those contracted prices when dealing with individuals.

10:29 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if FareChase offers the right pricing. I am from India and our inter-city air-fares are listed at 10-times the normal ticket price available right within India.

Rgds
JLS

10:57 am on Apr 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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anax wrote
I've read that the common travel sites that regular folks like me would visit (t----city, etc.) will take note of your visit in a cookie, and if you check back the next day the prices will have been raised because now you're regarded as an easy mark. Does anyone know for a fact whether this is so?

I would very much doubt it. They have nothing to gain, and hotels can change their rates as often as they see fit. But of course such a rumour may perhaps be something that the sites may not readily kill off as it could very well make many visitors book first time.

Fact is that the hotel industry is fast adopting serious yield management strategies and most major sites get their rates from GDS.

Because of that you can very easily see an hotel's rates and visit the next day to see different rates - either more expensive or cheaper.

Many global chains also only work with certain websites or GDS partnered sites etc. and many claim lowest rate guarantees etc.

The problem is mainly caused by wholesalers who in a way affiliate their contracted rates which are supposed to be part of a package (ie not visible to consumers) to third party websites. This is a serious problem for hotels and something which is quite difficult to defeat.

JLSeagull wrote

I wonder if FareChase offers the right pricing. I am from India and our inter-city air-fares are listed at 10-times the normal ticket price available right within India.

Visit most of the major travel websites and many that are not based in Asia offer ridiculous fares for travel within Asia.

They will catch up.

8:44 pm on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It seems they are more concentrating on travel biz