I just got my beta account for Farecast yesterday and was able to take it for a spin. Farecast is a different type of travel site than your typical dime-a-dozen Expedias and Travelocities. Those sites search the airlines for the lowest price right now. What Fareast does is try to predict how the airline fares are going to change. Since airline pricing is such a screwy thing, based on a million different variables, it’s hard to find good prices for airfare. Your seat could cost you $100 less than the exact same seat of guy sitting right beside you only because he bought it a day later than you. Farecast tracks prices over history to determine whether a price is going to go up or down (and whether you should buy now or wait).
The patent pending Fare History shows what the lowest fare was for your trip each day up to 90 days ago. We monitor price changes multiple times a day and store more than 50 billion observations and counting. We make a significant investment in data, hardware and storage costs to provide you with real prices based on availability.
The site is still in beta, so there were some features that weren’t quite ready for prime time. One of the biggest missing pieces for me was that it will only show you outgoing flights from Boston and Seattle (which doesn’t really do me much good). As for the functionality of the site, it’s pretty nice, and I have no reason to doubt the buying recommendations Farecast gives since the whole airline pricing scheme is such a mystery. I think once they get the site filled out a bit more (more markets and more buying options), it’ll be a nice weapon in my arsenal of travel sites. I’m not ready to switch to it all at once quite yet.
As a beta tester, I’ve got a few invites if anyone would like to give it a spin. Leave me a comment (with a valid e-mail address) and I’ll send an invite your way.