I’ve been dreading planning some summer travel. Or more specifically finding reasonable flights for summer travel. I spent the last several weeks checking some travel websites and have been frustrated with the prices – Would they go down? Should I just buy them and be done with it? Will I be kicking myself for not waiting another week or day or be annoyed that I waited to long?
It was suggested that I check out bing.com for travel. Now I can’t say that I use Bing much for my regular Internet searches. I’ve used Google since the beginning of time and I’m comfortable with it for what I usually need. But hey, Bing is the “decision engine” and I wasn’t getting anywhere fast with my ticket search otherwise. It was worth a shot.
And then it was mission accomplished. Bing. Done. Wow.
To be fair, the search results are powered by kayak.com, and I’ve used Kayak directly in the past but it never struck me as any better than Expedia, which had been my go-to travel site for years. (Like my use of Google, old habits die hard.) Though often, I’d find the flight on Expedia and then book it directly from the carrier to elimate the middle man, especially since I don’t often need travel packages.
With Bing you have all the features where you can customize your results based on number of stops, the travel times, red-eye or not, etc and you can look for hotels and other deals as well. Once you select your flight, Bing redirects you to the carrier so you can complete the purchasing process directly. From the main functionality standpoint, most flight search sites hand you the same base features and Bing doesn’t disappoint.
The big selling point was the prominance of the price predictor and the fare history. This is where the “decision” with booking flights comes into play. This was the cleanest presentation of the where prices had been and where they might be going – it was the perfect stock ticker for travel.
Perhaps I just got lucky but according to those tools, I was finally hitting the right time. Ticket prices were the lowest they’d been in about 4 weeks and would likely go higher – I finally had the information I needed to move forward and put my money on the line.
Now I can check that off my list and you can be sure I’ll use Bing for travel again in future. I guess everyone can learn a new trick now and then.