Farecast – Lesson in store for Travel Meta Search Engines in India

Farecast an online airline and hotel fare prediction site has been brought over by Microsoft for 115 Million dollars.  The site one of its own kind offers not only price ranged based search and route connections offering cheapest flying alternatives but takes it to next level by predicting fares of airlines and giving opportunity for people to lock fares for a price.

Near shore in India our home grown Meta search engines look Zoomtra and Ixigo still try to evolve into advertisement driven platform. Biggest problem meta search engines face in India is low rate of adoption of their model by airlines. Airlines dont want to buy traffic or pay per lead. They are ready to share the commissions if you are ready to take responsibility of finalization on your own platform. This is the reason these travel meta search engines fight for space with OTA’s like makemytrip.com, yatra.com, travelocity.com

So how can travel meta search engines survive if they wont get support from airlines? Answer for this would lay with using synergies or competition provided on offers by OTA’s to route traffic to them instead of airlines. Though in short term it will lead to reduction of repeat users but then these meta search engine sites need to evolve with better differentiator tools like a fare prediction algorithm or reverse auction of customer leads to airlines. Idea is to innovate on based of data generated on user pattern instead of relying on advertising or per user lead.

10 Responses to “Farecast – Lesson in store for Travel Meta Search Engines in India”


  1. 1 sauravh April 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    whats about google news i listen few days back they are planing to buy expedia.com🙂 if its happen then you will see the real Tech Game in Travel World. and in india 50% IT company’s working on travel products whats will happen then all products will online

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    Perfect article. Today’s you can get many travel meta search engine like expedia, dpauls and booking dot com like.. These are far better then you have listed in your post.

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