It had to happen. Searching for airfare deals never really seemed like a search task. That’s because Traveleocity, ORBITZ, Expedia, Priceline, Travelzoo, and all the other “CheapXXXXX” sites (sorry if I missed you) pretty much placed you into their proprietary bucket. Never mind that they all consume the same resources; troll the same APIs. You really were at the mercy of their engines, and the choices they make about who to promote and why.
Fare searches seemed pretty broad, but were you really getting ALL the airlines represented in your results? Were you always getting the best prices? Could you even know?
Well Yahoo hopes you couldn’t know. Or that you don’t trust those other guys enough to stick with them. Or something. Cause they’ve gone ahead and launched Farechase. Searches for cheap flights now look a bit more like a… well, search! Are they any better? Who knows. But at least it’s a start. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll release a *gasp* API for that service! Wouldn’t THAT be cool! How long before Google invades this market? And kudos to Yahoo for being the “first” (after all the other people, of course). 😉