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Just when we thought we had airline fares figured out…

February 11th, 2011 1 Comment

I’m sure you get just as frustrated as I do when you’re searching online to find a reasonable plane ticket price or hotel room rate. In my opinion the value should be determined on distance of travel and rate of “luxury” respectively.  But somehow that’s usually not how it works out, so we are left to spend hours scouring sites for the best deals.

You probably have your favorite sites you check first.  Mine are Expedia and Yapta.  I’m the first one to admit that while sites like Jetsetter and LuxuryLink that give big discounts on luxury vacation packages, I’ll probably never buy one because it’s just too many eggs in one basket.  And then of course there are travel apps galore.  It’s all a little overwhelming isn’t it?

Today the NYTimes published an article that says that the whole digital search system is about to be turned on its head. That doesn’t sound pleasant, but the more I think about it, I believe challenging the sites that monopolize our travel is just what we need to make the process of planning less painful.

The two companies leading the charge are American Airlines and Google.  In a nutshell, American wants to take its fares off of the discount sites (Orbitz, Expedia, etc), and Google is developing its own travel search engine that will allow you to specify what you’re looking for in a vacation (dates, weather, activities, etc) to then offer you the best options.

Sites like Hipmunk are approaching travelers with a new perspective on planning.  In the screen shot above, you can see their table that allows you to see all of the variables – price, airline, duration, time, airports – very easily.

Needless to say it’s going to be interesting to see how this all goes down.  Hopefully, we will reep some benefits at the end, but you can be sure that the airlines’ main objective is the bottom line.

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  • donya

    it’s “reap.” spellcheck, mary, spellcheck.