Yahoo has launched a new beta of Yahoo! FareChase . This version expands on the ability to search for flights by adding a feature that can search hotel sites including hotel chains and online travel agencies. The search results are said to be unbiased and bookings are made directly with the provider sites.
Yahoo acquired Israeli-based FareChase in July last year. FareChase could give Yahoo an advantage over Google and MSN, by providing more useful results to users, since neither Google nor MSN have their own travel search engines.
However, America Online released a beta of its Pinpoint Travel last week which ties into Kayak’s travel search engine. Pinpoint travel provides search across an inventory of 500 airlines and 85,000 hotels.
Travel search engines differ from services like Expedia, Travelocity.com and Orbitz because they scour the web for their inventory rathan receive it directly from the major travel distribution systems.
Yahoo plans to generate revenue from FareChase by displaying ads from Yahoo’s Overture network.
I say, the more competition the better. If Yahoo can sustain the service by displaying ads and can truly provide unbiased results, then good for them.