Here are a few travel websites creeping into the mainstream. Let me know your thoughts! Travel never costs what you think. Like renovating, my general rule is always expect to pay 20% more. One new site that helps to determine extra flying fees is True Price. Developed by industry professionals and frequent flyers, you choose your airline, enter the flight's fare, and select the automatically-generated extras you plan on purchasing to get the true price of your flight.
There are extensive rating programs for hotels, but what about airlines? Other than the fare class you book, flying seems to fall into two categories: legacy carriers and discount airlines. Change is coming. InsideTrip calls itself the only airline search engine to compare 12 important factors like legroom, airplane age, on-time performance, etc... and assigns a TripQuality score out of 100. Testing the site, I did a search for a flight from YVR (Vancouver) to SYD (Sydney) and found the site basically works like a Kayak flight search, with the addition of a quality score. According to the website, the rating for flights on that route ranged from 53 for a Delta multi-connection to 91 for a direct Air Canada flight.
Operating as the Yapta for car rentals, Auto Slash car rental search engine allows you to book your vehicle, notifies you if/when the price drops and scours the web for coupons or discount codes. Why thank you! Bonus: if your quoted price goes down, the site will alert you so you can rebook and lock-in the savings. This all sounds good, but is it good in reality? To test it out, I put in the same dates and car type into Hotwire and Auto Slash. Hotwire's rates were $20 less. I wonder if that's because Auto Slash hadn't yet found applicable coupon codes or price drops? I love the concept of Auto Slash and look forward to the business developing, but for now I'll stick with the major car rental sites online.