New tools dare to forecast seemingly erratic airfares by crunching vast amounts of historical data and factoring in airline behavior and economic conditions. The tools, found in smartphone apps and online booking sites, offer advice to consumers about whether to buy or wait for a lower price.
Kayak, which searches multiple sources for airfares, offers price advice on trips where it has enough data to make a prognostication. Kayak says its predictions are getting better with experience.
Hopper, an airfare shopping app, recently added price predictions and claims 95% accuracy. Google says its Google Flights, increasingly popular with many travelers, is adding predictive powers to certain routes, though they’re hard to find so far.
The technology is complicated, but the idea is simple: making an educated guess on whether the price you see is the best you can get.
While several ticket-sellers are giving consumers tools to predict airfares, another company, Flyr Inc., is working behind the scenes to offer insurance against price changes.
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