Travel and technology veteran Steve Kosier, who in 1996 co-founded the successful Bestfares.com website, has announced the launch of an unbiased consumer travel information source, AirfareScout.com.
Unlike most travel websites, AirfareScout.com`s business model bypasses the conflict-of-interest flaws inherent in the commission-dependent agency model. According to Kosier, AirfareScout.com will enable consumers to confidently shop for the lowest airfare in a way that embodies truth, education, less confusion and real discounts.
The site currently offers information for North American flights, but international fares may be offered in the future. “The launch of AirfareScout.com is a giant step forward for consumers,” said Kosier. “It will let them know which travel agencies and websites filter out low-fare information and which do not.”
Kosier cited a July 2001 study documenting the widespread omission of the Lowest Published Fare from low-fare quotes, then explained how AirfareScout.com`s model could help consumers. “We retrieve all data in real-time directly from a federally regulated system, so we know it`s accurate. We then display all published fare options with each airline`s toll-free phone number, website link, and applicable rules and fare basis code. We don`t filter any information and we don`t exclude any low-cost airlines.” In other words, consumers who use AirfareScout.com`s Lowest Published Fare information as the starting point when shopping for airfares are likely to save both time and money. “Hence our `Dare to Compare!` website slogan,” added Kosier.
In addition to displaying the Lowest Published Fare without bias, AirfareScout.com is rich in other valuable information and shopping tools. For instance, a unique FareCompare display shows driving miles and possible savings for alternate departure and destination airports, and Airfare Snapshot displays the Lowest Published Fare from your city to 140 destinations in a single click. The site also lists Web-Only specials from over 20 airlines, hotel and car rental links and toll-free numbers, links to FAA travel advisories, and detailed Smart Shopper Tips. All of these features are free to the public. AirfareScout.com, which is NOT a travel agency, was launched in response to the lack of regulatory laws protecting consumers from conflicts of interest inherent in the commission-driven agency model.
The website offers free, unbiased information to all consumers by displaying the lowest published airfares and detailed purchase information for each route, regardless of airline.