Planning a trip can be a real hassle, starting with choosing which airline would provide the most bang for its buck.
Luckily, things are arguably easier than ever before thanks to companies like FareCompare, which doesn’t sell plane tickets but does allow travelers to compare ticket costs.
Rick Seaney, CEO and cofounder of the company, talked to RewardExpert about what it takes to help consumers find the best deals. It’s completely free to use FareCompare because it’s supported by advertising and it will take interested parties directly to the source.
Scientists who found mainstream attention
Seaney founded the company with Graeme Wallace in 2007 after a demo page for airfare data clients was covered by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Not long thereafter he was invited to be on NBC’s “The Today Show.” The quick and widespread publicity convinced Seaney and Wallace — both computer scientists with deep-rooted backgrounds in high-performance computing and airfare technology — to delve deeper.
The company’s internal software was licensed by Airline Tariff Publishing Company, or ATPCO, in 2004. ATPCO provides worldwide airline fare collection and distribution, or what Seaney referred to as the “worldwide airline ticket stock exchange.”
What makes the company unique? “Our access and processing of hundreds of millions of searches of data with big data platforms; our quest to provide simple answers to difficult problems, like buying at the right time; (and understanding) when sales occur and what price is a good price,” Seaney said. “We were the first company with airfare email alerts, which are still popular today.”
Points rewards and budget deals
Seaney, who writes columns for ABC News, USA Today and Fox News, said FareCompare has been active in writing about mileage running and discussing tradeoffs of loyalty programs. The company, however, does not specifically track loyalty points or loyalty programs with technology.
He has four simple rules that will always financially save consumers in the long run:
1) Start shopping for rates three months prior to a domestic flight, and five months prior for an international haul
2) Fly on as Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday for cheaper domestic flights and between Monday and Thursday for lower fares on international travel
3) If two or more travelers are making a trip, one person should shop first and then the entire group should shop afterwards due to airline system glitches
4) Shopping around 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on a Tuesday can alleviate the price hikes of Monday, when approximately two-thirds of all sales occur
Tips, like planning flights many months ahead of time, gives consumers the ability to not play into airlines’ hands, Seaney said.
“Other airlines don’t see the change of the initiating airline until 10 a.m. Tuesday and send their matching sale prices to be distributed at 1 p.m., typically hitting the reservations system about 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time,” he said. “Typically, these sales last three days, so the shopping window is Tuesday to Thursday.”
The future is now
With so many options for consumers nowadays, companies like FareCompare break it down so the consumer comes away with tips, tricks and a better peace of mind.
“FareCompare continues to work on individualized content provided at an individualized cadence, and providing a thriving airline ticket comparison ticket shopping experience,” Seaney said.
For more information on the company, or to get airfare rates, visit farecompare.com.