Yesterday, Priceline.com unveiled several new airfare search functions as part of an effort to give customers more personalized service. These "Inside Track" functions are designed to give you more insight into when to book and when to fly particular routes and make you aware of good fares to many destinations from a specific departure city. Some of the new features include:
- An interactive U.S. map that displays a collection of recent fares to cities all over the world from a departure city you clicked on or selected from a drop-down menu. Some of the fares shown have trend icons indicating whether prices have increased or decreased recently.
- An interactive calendar that shows the cheapest days to fly a particular route.
- An email alert that lets you know when prices drop on a designated route.
Inside Track's functions are similar to what's offered on Farecast, but on a basic level. Farecast's tools offer a higher degree of personalization—for example, you can designate desired travel dates or a date range and the trip length. Also, Farecast makes predictions on whether prices are likely to go up, down, or hold with a percentage of certainty while Inside Track just indicates whether a particular ticket has gone up or down recently. For now, if you like playing around with airfare deal search tools, I suggest you stick with Farecast.