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Bing Travel
A screenshot of Live Search Farecast homepage
Bing Travel homepage
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release Final / June 3, 2009
Type Travel services
Website http://www.bing.com/travel

Bing Travel (previously Live Search Farecast and Farecast.com) is the first airfare prediction website in the computer reservations system industry. Bing Travel premiered to the public in May 2006 as Farecast, and went through a year of beta testing before emerging from beta on May 15th, 2007. Within the travel industry, Bing Travel is the only website to offer predictions on when is the best time to purchase airline tickets [1].

Contents

History

Farecast was Founded in 2003 by Oren Etzioni (founder of MetaCrawler and a professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington), and has collected over 175 billion airfare observations[2] to date. Farecast's team of data miners use these airfare observations to build algorithms to predict future airfare price movements.

In August 2007 Farecast launched a beta version of its hotel search engine with an innovative "deals" rate key. In May 2007 the company released results of an independent audit verifying Farecast's prediction accuracy at 74.5 percent and also launched additional features such as Farecast Alerts (a notification service that will inform travelers of key price drops) and a flight quality filter that allows travelers to sort flights by type. In February 2007 Farecast introduced Fare Guard[3], which allows customers to lock-in a specific price for a flight and be protected from future price increases for the following seven days.

The original Farecast Logo

In April 2008, Farecast was bought by Microsoft for a fee believed to be around $75 million to 115 million [4]. Microsoft officially integrated it as part of its Live Search group of tools in May 2008. On June 3, 2009, Microsoft officially rebranded Live Search Farecast as Bing Travel as part of its efforts to create a new search identity.

Controversy

In 2009 there were allegations that Bing Travel had copied its layouts from Kayak.com. Microsoft denied the allegations and stated that "Bing Travel is based on independent development by Microsoft and Farecast.com, which Microsoft acquired in 2008. Any contrary allegations are without merit."[5]

References

External links

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Press and industry coverage

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