Smarter Travel names Farecast the most reliable fare alert service

George Hobica, January 19, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    As some of you may know, Airfarewatchdog.com is a division of SmarterTravel.com, which itself is a part of the Trip Advisor family of web sites, which in turn is owned by Expedia. So we were on the one hand very proud when staff writer Molly Feltner at Smarter Travel, fierce believers in editorial independence that they justifiably are, wrote today that "Farecast's alert service is the most reliable such tool out there."  Of course, on the other hand, we strongly believe that we're a pretty darn good fare alert service, too.

    After all, Farecast doesn't track Southwest's fares, we do; Farecast doesn't track Allegiant Airlines's fares (can you believe how fast they're growing these days?) or little airlines like DirectAir; we do.

    Farecast doesn't include promo code fares, such as Southwest's recent 50% promo code sales, or JetBlue's frequent 10% off deals; we do.

    Farecast doesn't send out alerts on Spirit's 1 cent sales; we do.

    Farecast wouldn't show you that spring and summer fares to Ireland and other European cities right now on Aer Lingus are $50-$100 cheaper on aerlingus.com than they are elsewhere, or tell you that many other airlines offer signficant discounts if you book on their own sites rather than on an Orbitz or Kayak; we would.

    And, although Farecast is in the business of prediciting fares, they sure didn't predict that fares to Europe would plummet 50-60% this past Saturday (in fairness, who could have predicted that?); we sent out alerts about these fantastic bargains as soon as our little fingers could type.

    Now, don't get us wrong, we think Farecast is a useful site; it's just that we do some things better than they do, and we just don't think they're any more "reliable" (whatever that means) than we are, or, indeed, than Yapta or Farecompare are. All three sites use ITASoftware fare data, so really they get their fares pretty much from the same place. They just slice and dice and data in their own unique way.

    Anyway, if you're a fan of ours, feel free to comment at the bottom of Molly's article. I know I will!

    Update: We contacted Molly and it turns out she hasn't been subscribing to our fare alerts for a while, so we took the liberty of signing her up. Maybe she'll rediscover the value we offer!

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