Monday, January 26, 2009

Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant

Yapta is an internet travel company created in May 2006. It compares prices of airline tickets based on search criteria. If a user likes a given flight, Yapta will track that flight and notifies them if the price of the flight drops below the user’s designated desired price. If the user purchases the ticket, Yapta will continue to track the price of the ticket. If the price drops, Yapta can alert the user to the possible availability of a credit or voucher for the airline, based on the difference.

Yapta acts as a personal assistant that remembers your budget and traveling preferences while also tracking airfare prices - even after you bought your ticket.

According to Yapta, the average flight price fluctuates 400%. What this means is that every person on a flight paid hundreds of dollars more or less than the person next to them. What Yapta has been trying to do since it launched in May 2007 is to tell its users when the price of the ticket will be cheapest and to alert them if the price drops and they are eligible for a refund or travel credit from the airline.

Yapta offers indirect purchase of airline tickets through the airline websites. This enables users to purchase their tickets without incurring additional travel-agency fees. It is not at ticketing agency that offers direct purchases, such as Orbitz or Travelocity. Unlike Farecastimage001 (now owned by Microsoft), Yapta does not make fare predictions. It tracks actual prices and sends you an email alert when the price changes.

Yapta also offers a small application called the "Yapta Tagger". The Tagger works within the internet browser and when it recognizes an airfare displayed on an airline’s website, it displays a "Tag It With Yapta" icon next to the price. Pressing this icon enables Yapta to track the flight as if you had searched for it on the Yapta website.

Yapta is an acronym for "Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant."

Currently, Yapta supports price tracking for at least 23 different airlines, including American, Delta, United, Jet Blue, Virgin America, and many newly added international carriers (Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa).

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