Thursday, November 24, 2011

Technology & Tourism Thursday - Did you Pay Too Much for Thanksgiving Travel?

Buying a plane ticket seems a lot like playing the lottery.  You are never quite sure when you are going to get the cheapest price possible for the ticket?  You could be sitting in a seat thinking you got a deal with a $200.00 yet the guy sitting right beside you bought the same ticket for $150.00.

This is called within the industry as revenue management.  The airlines are trying to maximize their revenue based on demand curves.  As demand for a flight goes up, so does the price.  The airline is working its hardest to ensure as close to a full plane as possible while generating the maximum revenue in the process.

Yapta, a new App, help customers who don't have time to figure out each airline revenue management systems to track flight prices.  When the prices for a desired flight lowers, the App alerts them.  Further, several airlines will reimburse you if you discover that someone paid a lower price than you for the same flight (for essentially the same seat).  For instance, Jet Blue will reimburse you any price difference while Virgin & AirTran will reimburse you if the difference is over $75.00.  The Yapta App helps with that by tracking your flight even after you purchased the ticket and alerting you when and if you could be reimbursed.

As the App was recently released, I will be tracking several flights and compare their alerts to industry data.  I will be fascinated to find out how accurate their alert system is.  The premise behind this App seems solid.  I look forward to telling you about its accuracy.  Let me know what you think in the meantime.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a perfect app for my husband.

    On a sidenote, did you know that if you type your airline and flight number in a Google search, the current arrival/departure time will pop up? Sweet little trick I learned at the Google Summit a few weeks ago.