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New Kid on the Block

Carol Sottili

Two items to discuss today.

First, Farecast.com, one of those beta sites that not only searches airline ticket prices, but also predicts whether price is going up, down or staying the same over the next week, launched a new product today called Fareguard. Basically, you search for your flight (not all cities are offered) and then, if Farecast is predicting that the fare will go down or stay the same over the next week, you can guard that price.

For example, I searched for Dulles to Miami and it came up with a $139 round-trip fare on American, which it predicted will hold steady (with 56 percent certainty). If I want to lock in that price for seven days, I pay them $3 (that's the intro cost - will go to $9.95 Feb. 1). If the price goes up, they pay me the difference. Kind of an insurance policy for airfares. Sounds as if it has plenty of potential. If anyone uses it, and likes/dislikes the process, share your insights here! Go to www.farecast.com.

Second, American Airlines and Expedia are in a spat. Not sure who started it (Expedia says it pulled the plug, while American says it did) but Expedia.com is no longer selling American international tickets, or any first-class or business-class tickets (economy domestic tickets are not affected). Some blogs are also reporting that Expedia has pulled some of Delta's fares.

Of course, it's got to do with money. Expedia wants American to pay up, and American would rather not. Makes you wonder whether you're seeing all possible choices when you book through a third-party booking site. That's why it's always a good idea to check with a couple of sites, plus a metasearch engine, such as Kayak.com or Sidestep.com. And I often go to the airport sites to make sure I'm not missing anyone -- for the three Washington area airports, that's Dulles and DCA and BWI.

By Carol Sottili |  January 22, 2007; 1:11 PM ET  | Category:  Airline Industry , Carol Sottili
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You can search for all three airports simultanously by using WAS as your code. Works on almost all sites.

Posted by: Deep Valley USA | January 23, 2007 1:04 PM

I used it in December when pricing a spontaneous trip. It gives a level of comfort knowing where fares are expected to be in the next couple days, and removes buyer's regret (that nagging feeling that prices would have fallen if you'd just bought a little sooner/waited a little longer).

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