One of the coolest things we’ve seen since the Bing launch is the response to Bing Travel. Customers continue to explore the site and use all the tools we’ve built to help make better travel decisions quickly, and get on with their trips.
We’d like to give you a quick tour of one of the more intelligent tools that makes Bing an effective decision engine: our Price Predictor.
The Price Predictor helps you answer the key question of when’s the right time to book your airline tickets. Based on more than 175 billion (and counting!) airfare observations, using real pricing and availability information, the Price Predictor helps you decide whether you should buy now or wait.
Let’s see how it works using a sample search (conducted on July 10). From the Bing Travel homepage, enter your cities and dates, and click “search flights.” On the next screen, you’ll see results with specific itineraries, and to the left, an arrow with our buying recommendation.
In this example, the Price Predictor for a flight from Los Angeles to Denver recommended that you buy the listed fare, with a 79% confidence rate that fares would rise $50 or more over the next seven days. (And we were right! The fare jumped $82 during that week.)
Click on the “details and fare history link” and you’ll see additional information that makes it easy for you to decide whether to buy now or wait:
In addition to details about the price prediction, the daily fare history for this itinerary shows that over the 72 days preceding the search, round-trip fares were as low as $157, but there were several recent periods when the fare jumped above $230 (that’s not surprising as the trip date gets closer).
How do we get all of this data? Every day, Bing Travel gathers millions of potential trip itineraries from a variety of airfare information sources. We track more than 2,500 combinations of origin and destination cities — from U.S. and Canadian departures to destinations worldwide — for trips of up to 21 nights over as long as a 180-day period. We crunch all of this information in order to show you the airfare history and create our price predictions for a given market.
It may sound complicated, but it’s all aimed at making your travel search simple — so you can find the best deals and have confidence about when to buy your tickets. And, with the money you’ll save, you’ll be able to start planning your next trip that much sooner.
— Mike Fridgen, Director, Bing Travel