FareCompare: Your Complete Airfare Resource
As anyone who has ever looked for flights online can attest, it can be a HUGE chore to find the right flights, at the right price. When we were searching for our flights to Ireland, I spent hours and hours online, seeing where we should depart, where to arrive, and dates that might work to give us the best price. THEN I found FareCompare. From then on, it was incredibly easy, and I found the best fare for us quickly - and bought it - no more time spent searching. What is FareCompare? It's a very cool website that compares airfare sites. The best part of FareCompare is that it has several tools for consumers, including advice on When to Fly, Where to Go, When to Buy, and How to Shop. I check back often for FareCompare's articles and advice on these topics - and am constantly surprised by how much I am learning. Want to know how to avoid the Peak Travel Surcharge? The cheapest days and times to fly? (A: wednesday morning). How to shop with flexible travel dates? FareCompare aims to educate people, as well as find the best deals for them. They've got our business - I am very impressed.
We were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare, about the company, trends in the airline industry, tech geeks, and more. Here's what he had to say...
WE: What was the genesis of FareCompare?
FareCompare.com is one of a handful of companies that subscribe to the raw airfare data from over 500+ airlines worldwide (via ATPCO - the "airline ticket stock exchange").
We process this information into the world's largest database of current and historical gobal airline ticket prices and mine this treasure trove of information for insights into the oft-asked questions like, "When is the best time to buy my ticket for travel to Cancun in June", "Is my ticket price quote a good deal?", "What is the cheapest day to travel?" and more.
Originally we had a business to business model of selling this data to competing airlines, agencies, ticket auditors, and ended up with a back of the napkin moment in 2006 saying "Can we create a consumer site which shares this information with air travelers?" and thus the genesis of the site FareCompare.com.
WE: What can readers find on FareCompare?
1) They can find unique insight to air travel quotes (is this a good price, which days are cheaper to fly)
2) Quickly compare ticket price quotes on other sites as well as ours as no one site can claim to have the cheapest price at any given moment (Google says shoppers try 20 websites before purchasing travel)
3) Engage on our social media platforms (170 city deal based twitter accounts, Facebook etc)
4) Understand why their seatmate paid more or less than they did (an how to make sure their seatmate paid more)
5) Get Inspiration on Where to go on their next vacation by scanning the globe of airline ticket prices (on maps) for their preferred departure dates
6) Use quick and easy interfaces so they always make the best air travel purchasing decisions
7) Follow a company (newsletters, radio, video) that comes to work each day saying how can I find "everyone" a deal (not how can I sell you a ticket)
WE: Your email newsletters are amazing - how do you keep your fingers on the trends in the airline industry?
RS: We have the most powerful airfare analytical tools in the world at our disposal -- we know before anyone else what is about to happen in the marketplace before it happens on both airline ticket pricig and flight schedules.
I also have a team of content people are travel pros, they follow all aspects of aviation from Boeing aircraft sales, to Southwest Airlines latest unaccompanied minor child policy to AirTran 1 day sale.
Speaking at numerous conferences and writing a weekly (over 2 years now) column for ABCNews and fielding calls from industry reporters also keeps me on top of things.
That and evidently I never sleep...
WE: You've got such amazing and unique software programs - when-to-fly, where-to-go, etc. - What's up next for FareCompare?
RS: We believe that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, 4-square ...) and Mobile are going be where most people start their travel transactions in the future (instead of the Google search box). We want to continue to roll out simple to use tools backed with powerful technology and earn the trust of every air traveler in the world as the one of the best places to come to when shopping for travel.
WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
RS: I want air travelers to know that FareCompare is all about a bunch of tech geeks who day in and out have a mission to help each and every one to find a great deal on their next trip and that we have their back on all things travel from air quality on planes to 3-hr tarmac rules -- it isn't always about the cheapest price (just most of the time).
WE: Thanks so much, Rick! What an interesting story FareCompare has! We highly recommend Farecompare to our readers.
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feature photo: An airplane climbing out of London. Courtesy of flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/xlibber/3423766012/