Archive for 'What's New'

FareIQ logo

Yapta today announced the launch of FareIQ, the corporate travel industry’s only independent airfare price tracking solution.  For the last several months, Yapta has been developing in cooperation with early beta partners, an airfare price tracking solution designed specifically to engage with any back-end corporate travel environment. The launch of FareIQ marks the start of a formal pilot program with early corporate adopters that will enable enterprises to capture savings when their corporate airfares drop in price.

“FareIQ was built on more than five years of knowledge and expertise tracking airfares for consumers and successfully identifying millions in potential savings,” said Ken Myer, President and CEO of Yapta.  “Based on our intimate understanding of airfare prices, we’re confident we can deliver savings to enterprises of any size.  We’re looking forward to serving our early pilot customers– and helping them realize airfare savings that are typically missed.”

FareIQ’s patent-pending technology provides in-depth analysis and insights on corporate airfares, spotlighting opportunities to save as market prices shift on a daily basis.  Prior to officially launching its pilot program, FareIQ tested its technology in a six-month beta study that revealed $2.8 million in savings on a sample of 100,000 business itineraries.

FareIQ’s pilot program will encompass a partnership with several large travel management companies (TMCs) and their clients including CorpTrav Management Group, a global travel management company widely recognized for providing its clients with innovative and cutting-edge technology solutions.

“We’re constantly looking at innovative technologies that make our clients’ travel programs more cost efficient, and our partnership with FareIQ is a natural continuation of these efforts,” said Lisa Donovan Berry, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for CorpTrav Management Group. “As importantly for our customers, FareIQ can deliver the savings for CorpTrav clients without impacting the traveler’s itinerary.  Since FareIQ looks for savings based on identical itineraries – travelers maintain the same carrier, travel dates, departure times, and other preferences.”

“Agencies are embracing the technology because airfare tracking is a perfect complement to the types of services they already provide for their clients,” Myer said. “Our technology finds lower prices, their clients re-book to save money, and the agency strengthens the value of its services.  It’s truly a win-win scenario for everyone.”

For more information about FareIQ or to take part in the FareIQ pilot program, email bizdev@yapta.com or visit www.GetFareIQ.com.

Yapta Mobile

Good news for iPhone users – Yapta today announced that its core airfare price tracking and refund alert service is now available as a mobile app!  Yapta Mobile is the travel industry’s first free mobile app that tracks airfare prices on specific flights from hundreds of airlines around the world and alerts travelers when the price on a particular flight drops – or falls below a pre-designated price point.  The app also tracks the price of airline tickets that have already been booked – and if the price drops below what was paid – it pushes an alert to the user when they’re eligible for a travel credit from the airline.

Yapta Mobile enables travelers to be much more opportunistic about saving by providing immediate visibility into airfare decreases – and by alerting them to perishable refund opportunities anytime, anywhere.  Whether you’re traveling for business or for leisure, the app is a powerful savings tool that’s well-suited for today’s airfare pricing environment – and for the busy traveler that’s on the go.

Yapta Mobile is free to download and use – and is available now in the Apple Store:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yapta-track-flights-get-airline/id479369088?mt=8

Download it today and start saving on airfare!

API

For some time now, we’ve received substantial interest in our price tracking technology – from independent developers and travel startups to online travel agencies, credit card companies and travel suppliers.  Well, today we’re pleased to announce the availability of our APIs that enable developers to integrate our core price tracking technology into their mobile and software applications or websites.  Yapta’s Airfare Price Tracking APIs are available as part of a beta program for third-party developers.  Developers can apply to be a part of the Yapta API beta program through a simple registration at http://developer.yapta.com.

Our price tracking APIs enable applications to track pricing on specific flights offered from hundreds of airlines around the world.  Flight prices can be monitored both before purchase – in an effort to help travelers buy at the lowest price – and after purchase, in an effort to help travelers capture an airline refund when the price drops.

These are the only APIs for airfare price tracking in the travel industry – so it will be interesting to see what spawns from the beta program and where the technology gets applied.  After all, there’s certainly no shortage of innovators in the travel space.

More information is available at http://developer.yapta.com.

MasterCard Airfare Price Assurance logo

This week, in Phoenix, was the annual PhoCusWright Conference where folks from all corners of the travel industry gather to share ideas, forge partnerships, and announce some news.  Well, we had some news of our own to announce.  Here it is, as reported by Tnooz (the travel industry’s top trade news outlet):

Yapta and MasterCard plan to begin a beta in December in which MasterCard consumer and small business cardholders purchasing flights with their cards would be able to receive Yapta’s price monitoring and price assurance services.

Yapta pledges that its services get air travelers refunds on the difference when the airfare drops below the price the flight was booked for.

The beta is a prelude to a full-fledged launch of the service with MasterCard in early 2011, Yapta says.

The MasterCard-Yapta partnership punctuates a shift for Yapta, which has been focusing in recent months on supplementing its consumer offering with business to business services.

“This is a significant partnership that will deliver real savings and value to a broader audience of travelers,” says Yapta co-founder and CEO Tom Romary. “It’s also consistent with our strategy to power travel services for travel management companies, online travel search companies and financial services companies.”

The beta will be available to a subset of MasterCard cardholders in December.

Yapta and MasterCard plan to implement a series of collaborative services early next year.”

Here’s some more news you can use:

  • Airport security body scanners used by the TSA continue to gain negative publicity.  John Tyner, a California software engineer, became an instant web celebrity this week when he declined both a body scan and the alternative – a groin check – and then used his iPhone’s video camera to capture the event.  Tyner told TSA agents: “If you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.”  He evaded the junk-touching, but wasn’t allowed to fly.
  • John Tyner apparently isn’t alone in his detest of airport security body scanners.  Others are organizing a “National Opt-Out Day” slated for November 24th — the day before Thanksgiving and probably busiest day of air travel this year. It’s a protest against the full-body scanners at airports.  For all you planning to participate, you should know your rights.
  • AirTran today launched a “Giving Thanks to Our Customers” airfare sale good for tickets purchased today through Monday.  Fares are priced based on “peak,” “off-peak” and “super off-peak” travel dates. The lowest fares are for travel on Nov. 19, 21, 22, 26 and Nov. 30, with some discounts offered for flights on Thanksgiving Day. Also, there are no advance purchase requirements for this sale.

hotel pricesToday we announced that we have integrated hotel search results from Booking.com that will enable you to track hotel prices on a much broader selection of properties. Using Yapta’s enhanced hotel rate tracking service, you can now monitor pricing on over 196,000 domestic and international properties and be alerted via email when prices drop.

Unlike “opaque” accommodation booking services that don’t allow you to see the specific hotel property you’re bidding on, Yapta enables you to designate the hotel you’re most interested in and be automatically alerted when the rate drops — or when it reaches a desired price point. Yapta diligently checks for the lowest published rate of a tracked hotel and reports decreases to you with a custom email that links you to the savings opportunity.

If you’re planning an upcoming trip, give Yapta’s hotel rate tracking service a try.  It can help you save a bundle.  Based on our data, travelers tracking hotel prices more than 30 days in advance of booking save between $50 – $60 on average.  (Again, that’s savings in the form of an email that alerts you to a lower available rate, not a refund.)  However, fear not travel planning procrastinators.  Travelers tracking hotel rates for fewer than 30 days save between $30 – $40 on average.

Yapta’s Flight Search Now Powered by KAYAK

Flight Search Results - PRESS RELEASE VERSION - Feb. 2010

If you’re searching for flights on Yapta.com today, you may notice that the search results look a lot like those delivered by KAYAK.com.  Well, your eyes are not deceiving you.  KAYAK, the largest travel search site in the world, is now powering Yapta’s flight search.

This is great news for you!  By integrating KAYAK’s flight search, which provides prices and itineraries for hundreds of airlines, you’re now able to track prices on virtually any flight in the world.

All of us at Yapta are really excited to bring this enhancement to you – so give our new flight search a whirl and let us know what you think.  And if you would like to learn more about Yapta’s partnership with KAYAK, you can read our news announcement.

Yapta.com Introduces Frugal Travel Flaunts on Facebook

Yapta.com today announced a unique social feature that allows travelers to flaunt their airfare or hotel savings on Facebook – and point their friends to a potential travel deal.

Hundreds-of-thousands of travelers currently use Yapta to track airfare and hotel prices and to be alerted to savings when their select flights or hotels drop in price. With Yapta’s introduction of Frugal Travel Flaunts, travelers can now choose to flaunt their savings on Facebook once they’ve acted on an alert and booked at a reduced price – or when they’re alerted to a refund or credit from their airline on purchased tickets that have dropped in price.

Yapta members with a Facebook account can post their Frugal Travel Flaunts on their Wall and have friends see them in their news feed.  The flaunts consist of short messages such as, “I found a $116 refund by tracking price drops on a purchased flight with Yapta,” or, “I saved 20% on a flight to Chicago by tracking price drops with Yapta.”  Yapta members simply click the “Share with my Facebook friends” button that appears on your “MyTrips” account page.

It gives travelers an opportunity to celebrate on Facebook when they’ve scored a great deal on a particular flight or hotel – or when they’re credited on an airline ticket that they’ve already booked. It also has the potential to help travelers spotlight a deal for their friends on Facebook who may have an interest in the same trip.After all, a friend who can find travel deals for you is a friend worth keeping.

Additionally,travelers can now also use Yapta to post the trips they’re planning on Facebook.  Whether traveling for business or leisure, sharing travel plans on Facebook can lead to meet-up and networking opportunities or valuable travel tips on places to stay, eat and explore.

Quick Review of When & How to “Flaunt” on Facebook from Yapta.com:

1. When an airline ticket that you’ve already purchased drops in price, Yapta will alert you when you’re eligible for a travel credit from the airline.  The email alert we send drives you to the “MyTrips”
page on our site for all the credit & flight information.  It’s from that MyTrips page where you can “Share with my Facebook friends”.

2.  When the price of a flight or hotel that you’re tracking (not purchased) drops in price, Yapta will alert you when you can book at a lower price.  The email alert we send drives you to the “MyTrips” page on Yapta.com where we would help you kick off the booking process.  The MyTrips page is where you’ll find “Share with my Facebook friends.”

3.  If you simply track a flight or hotel on Yapta, you’ll have the option to “Share with my Facbook friends” from the “MyTrips” page that captures all tracked flights.  This will simply share the fact that you’re planning a trip to Chicago (for instance).

Questions?  Contact us at info@yapta.com

Yapta is proud to announce the “Nine Months of Paradise by Marriott“Sweepstakes where we’re giving away 15 prizes every month for 9 months,including Grand Prize packages from Marriott & Renaissance Caribbean and Mexico Resorts, a 1-year Clear Pass, the fast pass for airport security, and Starbucks gift cards.Becoming eligible for the Sweepstakes is easy.  All you have to do isvisit Yapta.com during each month and track the airfare on any flightand Yapta will present you with the opportunity to participatein each monthly drawing.  You can increase your chances of winning bytracking up to 25 flights each month to receive the maximum 25 entriesinto the sweepstakes.

Don’t think you can actually win?  Well, that’s what Emily Lakin from San Francisco, CA and Jan Walker from Springfield, MO thought before they each took home a grand prize in our previous sweepstakes contests.

Here’s some other travel news you can use:

*  The Wall Street Journal reports that, “CheapTickets.com will permanently remove booking fees on flights,becoming the latest online travel seller to do so as the industry triesto capture more business from airlines’ Web sites amid a prolongedslump in the travel sector.”

*  Benjamin O’Dell, the Central Pennsylvania Travel Examiner, writes that JetAmerica’s $9 flights are indeed too good to be true. “Many critics have pointed out that JetAmerica’s $9 airfare only appliesto the first wave of tickets sold for each flight, typically the firstdozen.  Most fares will cost somewhere between $49 and $79 and all willcarry the ubiquitous fees that airlines have grown increasingly fond ofinitiating for services that were once considered standard on Americanflights.  In this sense, while still affordable, JetAmerica’s rates arenot a radical departure from the fares set by other industry playerssuch as Northwest Airlines and Delta.”

*  Mark Malkoff, a comedian often appearing on “The Colbert Report”, is living on an AirTran plane for an entire month in order to get over his fear of flying.  This is the same dude who lived at IKEA for a week and visited all 171 Starbucks in Manhattan in 24 hours.  You can peek in on his experience here: http://www.markonairtran.com/Public/Main.aspx

*  The Daily Beauty Reporter blogfrom Allure magazine (a must-read for Aaron here at Yapta) poses thefollowing question: “Is the TSA Getting Gorgeous on Your Dime?”  Well,apparently they are whenever you dispose of your expensive cosmetics atTSA check-points.  It ain’t easy traveling pretty.

It was only a week ago when Yapta announced it was able to track airfare priceson 5 additional international airlines – including Qantas Airways,Korean Air, Emirates, El Al Airlines, and Spirit Airlines.  Well, the Yapta engineers have been en fuego and today have rolled out 5 more international airlines: Aeromexico, Air Jamaica, China Airlines, Air New Zealand and Air India.

In total,Yapta can now track pricing on 22 international airlines and 13U.S.-based airlines – all in effort to help you get the best deal onyour airfare.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

* Starting today, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) willstart to implement its Secure Flight passenger identification programby requiring airline passengers to enter their full name — exactly asit appears on their passport or government issued identification theywill be traveling with — when making any flight reservations.

Forexample, if the driver’s license or passport lists the passenger’s nameas “John William Smith” you should reserve your flight under “JohnWilliam Smith” not “John Smith” or “John W. Smith.”

In thesecond phase of the Secure Flight program, which begins on August 15,passengers will also be required to enter their date of birth, genderand watch-list redress number (if it applies) when booking airlineflights.

I don’t know about you, but I feel safer already. (wink)

* Air New Zealand has just launched anew ad campaign called “Nothing to Hide.” The ad features a number of airline employees “dressed” in nothing but body paint. According to The Boston Globe, Rob Fyfe, the CEO of Air New Zealand, reportedly makes a cameo as one of those in body paint.

As if that weren’t enough, The Globe also reports that Air New Zealand is also shopping a singles-only Matchmaking Flight – from Los Angeles to Auckalnd, New Zealand – in October with round-trip fares starting at $780.  There will be a preflight gate party; food,drinks, and games throughout; and a party at the Skycity ConventionCentre in Auckland after you land.  The carrier also has set up a website, www.thematchmakingflight.com, where passengers can upload a personal profile and start connecting before the flight.

Calling all Yapta users: We need your feedback!

If you use Yapta.com to track airfare and hotel prices, please take 2 minutes to complete our short travel survey.  We simply want to gain a better understanding of who you are as a traveler – and how we might be able to serve you better.  Again, it will only take 2 minutes – and we’d greatly appreciate it!

Click here to begin: http://tinyurl.com/cjh7v9