Service Enables Consumers to Take Advantage of Volatile Airfare Pricing by Issuing Alerts When Prices Drop, Even After Tickets Have Been Purchased
Seattle – May 22, 2007 - Yapta, Inc. (www.yapta.com) today announced the public-beta launch of the industry’s only airfare tagging service that tracks airfare on specific flights and alerts consumers via email when fares drop or fall below a desired spending limit. By enabling consumers to “tag” specific flights from online itineraries offered at leading domestic airline websites or online travel agents, and have pricing continually monitored thereafter, Yapta assures that users get alerted to the lowest possible price for airline tickets. Bringing to light pro-consumer “guaranteed airfare rules” offered by many airlines, the service helps air travelers obtain travel vouchers — and in some cases, cash refunds — when the price decreases on tickets that have already been purchased.
“We’re introducing trip tagging as a new approach to travel shopping,” said Tom Romary, president & CEO of Yapta. “Airline ticket prices are highly volatile, making it very difficult for most consumers to be assured that they are getting the best deal possible. Yapta provides accurate, timely price tracking, regardless of when or where consumers decide to purchase or shop for airline tickets online. By enabling travelers to tag the exact flights they want from leading travel sites and receive email alerts when prices drop, we’re providing complete price transparency and presenting them with the opportunity to save a significant amount of money”.
Yapta users track airfares by “tagging” the exact flight itineraries that they want using a downloaded browser add-on. Additionally, travelers can also use Yapta on a post-purchase basis by simply entering their confirmation code or flight information into the Yapta website. The Yapta add-on serves consumers during their online travel shopping experience only, and does not engage during other web surfing sessions. Once a trip is tagged, it is automatically aggregated on the “My Trips” page at Yapta.com. The website intelligently separates flights that have been purchased from flights that are being watched.
In December 2006, Yapta initiated a private-beta test of the service, allowing select consumers to tag flights, receive alerts on airfare price drops, and capture refunds and travel vouchers. In just three months, Yapta alerted its 275 test users to approximately $30,000 in eligible savings and refunds, for an average net benefit of $109 per traveler.
“Customers gain peace of mind when using Yapta to shop for travel,” Romary said. “Airlines have implemented great pro-consumer policies that can be difficult for customers to understand. At Yapta, we help to clarify and communicate these policies that enhance overall satisfaction and reinforce the reasons to purchase directly from airline websites, including no booking fees, bonus miles, and price protection.”
“Airfare prices, in large part, are established by sophisticated yield management systems that allow airlines to make seats available at fluctuating rates based on supply and demand,” said Robert Goodwin, transportation industry analyst for Gartner. “While this pricing practice is presently the most common approach for airlines to remain cost effective, travelers are often left puzzled by it. Through greater price transparency and stronger customer loyalty programs — such as issuing vouchers for future travel — airlines have an opportunity to enhance their direct relationships with consumers.”
Registration for the Yapta public-beta can be completed at www.yapta.com.
About Yapta, Inc.
Yapta, Inc. was founded in January 2006 with the mission to assure consumers that they get the most value out of their trip planning, and pay the lowest possible price for airline tickets. Yapta’s online service takes advantage of airfare price volatility by continually monitoring airline ticket prices and alerting consumers when the price on “tagged” flights decreases. Bringing to light pro-consumer “guaranteed airfare rules” offered by many airlines, the service helps air travelers obtain travel vouchers — and in some cases, cash refunds — when the price decreases on tickets that have already been purchased. For more information, visit www.yapta.com.