In the context of a larger discussion of how data mining is being used by several Internet sites, Gary Price posts about the introduction of hotel search on the Farecast site. Farecast’s core service has sought to save consumers money by using historical information and other data to determine whether airfares are rising or falling and whether, accordingly, it’s the right time to buy a plane ticket. Here’s an example search for airfares from San Francisco to New York’s JFK airport.
The airfare predictions service was backed up by price guarantees to instill greater consumer trust, but it remains largely a “power users” tool. However, the new hotel search potentially broadens the appeal of Farecast to a more mainstream audience.
Here’s a search for hotels in New York during the winter holidays. You’re told, based on Farecast’s historical analysis of hotel prices, whether the rate in question is a deal, average, or not a deal:
You can also drill down on any individual hotel and get historical pricing analysis: