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Fare Aggregator Update

What is a “Fare Aggregator”?

If you’re not familiar with the term “Fare Aggregator”, it refers to a website which checks a number of other travel sites and sorts and displays the results from each. The website doesn’t actually handle your travel booking – the third party site does. Some examples I have referred to previously in posts are Amadeus and Momondo.

I have stumbled upon a new airfare aggregator named, somewhat curiously, Functravel. The site is evidently based in Norway and it claims to search an impressive 450+ airline and travel agency websites, including several of the sites I have recommended here in the past, such as Opodo and Openjet.

I have not tried booking a ticket via their site yet, so can’t at this stage give them a recommendation as such. However, since they are an aggregator and any booking will presumably therefore be handled by one of the third party sites (which includes airline websites and several major online travel agencies) certainly the site would appear to be worth a visit when you’re fare hunting: Functravel

In other news, I am also removing Mobissimo and WeGo from the recommended sites due to their poor recent performance. Fares returned from their sites were generally not competitively priced.

Comparison: ITA Matrix vs Momondo vs Opodo & more

Lets put some of the airfare search engines to the test. I’ll use 3 ‘test’ routes for this comparison: The first a straight-forward point-to-point economy class fare search on a route with direct flights. The second will be a more complicated routing with several connections required, also in economy class. The third will be a business class fare search which I’ll publish as a separate post.

I will include the result from ITA Marix with each example, even though tickets cannot be booked through their site, as a reference to see how close we come to matching their lowest fare. (All fares will be converted to US$ irrespective of the currency used by the supplier.)

Route 1: Muscat, Oman (MCT) to London, England (LON). Departing 7 October 2009 and returning 14 October 2009.

Website ITA Matrix Bestflights Jetabroad Mobis- simo Momondo Openjet Opodo
Fare (US$)
$453*
$476 $504 $737** $468 $464 $498
Rank NR 3 5 6 2 1 4

*Qatar Airways with return flight from Gatwick but arrival at Heathrow.

** All sites returned Qatar Airways as being the cheapest, except Mobissimo which only returned a fare from British Airways and nothing else.

Note:- If booked via the Qatar Airways website, this ticket would cost US$453.

Route 2: Muscat, Oman (MCT) to Las Vegas, USA (LAS). Departing 22 October 2009, return 31 October.

Website ITA Matrix Bestflights Jetabroad Mobis- simo Momondo Openjet Opodo
Fare (US$) $1,230 $1,012 $1,370 -* $1,114 $1,476 $1,346
Airlines Used QR/AA/UA UA/KU/LX NW/EK - UA/EK BA/US AA
Rank NR 1 4 - 2 5 3

* no results returned

Conclusion

Based solely on these two examples, the average rankings in terms of lowest fares found are:

1) Bestflights and Momondo with an average score of 2

2) Openjet with an average score of 3

3) Opodo with an average score of 3.5

4) Jetabroad with an average score of 4.5

So there you have it. It’s worth noting that in the second test, Bestflights and Momondo returned an even lower fare than that found by ITA Matrix.