When it comes to travel, Microsoft Bing gives us a better deal than Google. Google has a cool tool in the experimental Google Hotel Finder. Google has some travel plans with its purchase of ITA Software. You can also use Google to do a quick flight search by typing in something like flight New York to London and get a scheduled flight list. But this article is not about Google…it’s about Bing Travel and how it has taken off while its chief rival revs up its engines.
Bing Travel is a more packaged offering. While Google’s travel features still don’t look like a one-window solution, Bing’s travel page resembles what you will normally find in any well designed travel website. One of the key features on Bing Travel is the Flight Predictor tool. The flight prediction helps you guess the best time to buy cheap airfare tickets for flights from most major U.S. and Canadian cities to destinations worldwide.
Let’s Take a Flight
Searching for a flight starts off in the usual way. You type in your origin and destination, and the date. You need to specify if it’s a one-way, round-trip, or a multi-city flight for the flight engine to work out your schedule and deals if any.
Note: You can also search for flights from the Bing homepage.
With one click you get multiple points to compare and reckon if it’s the right (and cheapest) flight for you. Bing lists all airfares for the mentioned route. You can use the filters on the left side to further refine your results.
You can also open up other travel and booking sites in separate tabs to go through their airfares. Sites which help you to compare airfares include: Expedia, Hotwire, Cheaptickets, Priceline, American Airlines, and Cheapoair.
Bing Travel itself tries to find you the lowest airfare available between two cities. But Bing Travel takes this base figure and also gives you a few more multi-dimensional tools to make the right ticketing decision and save money.
Wait For the Cheapest Airfare with the Price Predictor
The Price Predictor tells you if the airfare is going to rise or fall within the next few days. It helps you to take a wait and watch policy for buying cheaper plane tickets. Bing Travel says that their predictive technology is about 75% accurate and on average, customers will save over $50 on a typical round-trip transaction. With each search Bing mentions the confidence percentage.
Travel tips on the price fluctuations are marked out with colored arrows. You can click on the arrow or on the Details and Fare History link to read about the price prediction in more detail (as in the above screenshot). Your decision boils down to your urgency and your risk tolerance.
You can check the daily low fare history graph to get an idea on the seasonal price drops.
Grab The Deals For More Cheaper Airfares
Travel Bing keeps track of the price drops on a particular route. These are highlighted as deals for some of the major destinations on the Deals tab. Bing Travel uses historical data to compare fares and find the variation with the average fare. It’s is the same price predictor technology at work but with some extra tips (for instance: as highlighted in yellow) that explain why this airfare could be a deal maker or a deal breaker for you.
A calendar which pops up when you click on the ‘View Dates’ link gives you an idea of the days and dates when the deal is available. The onward and return journeys are both shown separately with their deals.
With a Windows Live ID and a Bing Travel account, you can track your airfares. You can also befriend Bing Travel on Facebook and get updates on cheap airfare tickets. With the cheapest airfare decided, you can jump directly to the ticketing website from Bing Travel with a click on the link for the booking site.
Bing Travel is a neat web application to rack up airfare savings while you accumulate all those frequent flyer miles. If you are a busy traveler, the dollars in savings can really add up.
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Tell us if you seriously use web tools to keep track of your airfares when you travel. Where can Bing Travel fit in your itinerary?