Cagey Consumer

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Lowest Fare?  Try it!
In 1997, Washington Post writers Carol Sottili and Craig Stoltz concluded that you couldn't trust the low-fare claims made by various travel sites. There were several problems:
  • E-fares and other special deals are often available only when the fares are booked on its own web site.
  • Contract rates (i.e. non-published fares available through consolidators) would be available only from the specific suppliers' site.
  • Even considering only the published fares, travel sites would occasionally fail to find the lowest fares.

    If you were willing to, you could visit dozens of travel sites and you might be pretty sure of finding the lowest fare. Of course, this would take several hours, and by the time you found the lowest fare, there might no longer be seats available. Qixo will do this for you. It submits your request to about 2 dozen travel sites and returns the results on your screen. It has an annoying habit of reloading the page every 10 or 15 seconds to display any new results that may have been returned in the interim, But if you're interested in the lowest fare, you can save a lot of time, knowing that if one site has missed a low fare, it's likely another site will have found it.

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Updated January 6, 2006