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Old 08-07-2004   #1
garyp
 
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Yahoo Acquires Travel Search Engine

Yahoo Acquires Travel Company
Source: News.com
http://news.com.com/Yahoo+buys+trave...3-5300561.html

Yahoo has quietly purchased FareChase, a small online travel company, to help broaden its Web search capabilities.
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Old 09-07-2004   #2
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Keep you eye on http://yahoo.farechase.com. It's a password protected beta right now, but Yahoo tells me later this evening, it will open to the general public. Looks and works similar to the existing FareChase.com site.
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Old 09-07-2004   #3
garyp
 
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Kayak Too!

Danny:
Another test set to launch this fall (now in beta, you can get a password via email) is another new travel startup based in Chicago (a couple of former Orbitz folks are involved). From what I've seen via an early beta, VERY USEFUL.
http://www.kayak.com

They use the same concept as seen via the Smart Sort beta from Yahoo Shopping to modify results, fares, etc. with 'sliders'.
http://shopping.yahoo.com/smartsort


Other sites in this space:
Mobissimo, SideStep (download required), Quixo.

Last edited by garyp : 09-07-2004 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 09-07-2004   #4
Josh
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This is definitely one of the categories that is starting to build momentum on the vertical engine front. While the sites Gary mentioned are all emerging as real players, it is important to consider Yahoo's huge 'built-in ' audience when they launch Farechase tonight. Provided that the service doesn't stink (I'm sure it won't) it can, and probably will, be a real competitor to the big boys from day one.

It is interesting to watch Yahoo! evolve as a coporation; they initially focused on building an audience and aggregating content from 3rd parties. Now they're starting to build or acquire more of their own content... Hotjobs, their buying spree within the search market (Inktomi, AV, Alltheweb, Overture), etc. Obviously, they are picking and choosing categories that can be hugely profitable for them once they cut out superfluous middlemen. I wonder what comes next - auto leads? mortgages? I guess time will tell.
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Old 09-07-2004   #5
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I spent about 90 minutes this afternoon using the FareChase/Yahoo beta (they sent me a password). If this is what they publicly launch the beta with (I'm not impressed). I thought they would have unveiled something cool to get the buzz going. The one positive. They claim to be accessing more than 150 sites.

Negative. As of this afternoon (I'm sure this will change) it does not work with Mozilla/Firefox.

As of today, Kayak still the leader in my book.
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Old 09-07-2004   #6
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Fair enough, Gary. Especially on the Mozilla front - you'd think Yahoo would want to make their services compliant with alternative browsers to IE from the getgo.

I'm sorry to hear that your experience with the beta was less than stellar... my point though is that even if Farechase is not the "best" product on the market, they have such a strong distribution valve, that they will have immediate market share. Of course, it'd be a shame if they launch a subpar product.
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Old 09-07-2004   #7
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I'm sure they will take care of the Mozilla issue very soon.
I agree Josh, it will get plenty of market share and attention because it's Yahoo.

It wasn't that it was bad, it wasn't. It was just there. Hopefully, it will improve.

Another plus is that it can find airfares (it also does cars and hotels) from airlines not available via the big three (Orbitz, Travelocity, and Expedia) don't have access to including Southwest and Jet Blue. Of course other aggregators also hit these airlines.

The bottom line is what kind of fares will it find? Will the aggregation of many sites find good deals especially vs. others in this space. Will it save people time?

It's interesting to see an idea that's been around for several years finally (pardon the pun) take off.
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