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A few weeks ago I was presented with an in-depth look at Bing Travel. This was not the first time I’d heard of it – I go to a lot of Microsoft events and it’s always being demonstrated – but all of the other times I’d pretty much ignored it for shinier, flashier things. Why would I need Bing Travel when I have a bunch of other sites that I always check?
This time, though, I was a captive audience, sitting in a comfy chair with nothing else to pay attention to. I swear, I’m like a toddler sometimes. If you don’t take all of the other cool stuff out of my line of sight and make me sit still, I won’t focus. So, I paid attention this time, and I have to say it was rather revelatory. I had several batches of plane tickets to buy, and I couldn’t wait to get home and give Bing Travel a whirl.
For starters, Bing Travel looks at hundreds of sites when searching for your flights, so I didn’t have to check all of those other sites (but I did the first time anyway, just to make sure Bing was finding what it was supposed to). I was kicking myself for having waited so long to book my flight to Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but was thrilled at what Bing Travel found:
$408 round trip on Virgin America? Score! And yes, I know what you’re thinking, I would’ve found that flight on one of the other sites I routinely check (and I did). But then I clicked on the Fare Predictor and saw this:
Confirmation that if I’d purchased my tickets back in October, I could’ve saved about $180. And while that’s not exactly good news, I was fascinated that I was getting that info with my search. It even told me that it was 75% sure that I should buy my tickets now. So I did. The search results gave me several choices of where to buy my tickets from, so I picked buying directly from Virgin America and clicked over to their site, where my chosen tickets came right up. It was really easy.
Next I searched for tickets for a trip to Florida. These worried me even more than the Vegas tickets. Not because I’d waited too long, but because in the past we’ve paid wildly differing amounts for tickets between NYC and Fort Myers. I never know when to buy and I know I’ve totally overpaid some years.
The search found lots of options, but they were all more than I wanted to pay. The Fare Predictor told me that I should wait, though, and it was 80% certain! So, I’m waiting. I’m going to check it every few days and see what it says. I got the same results – 80% certain I should wait – for a third trip I need to book. So, I’m doing lots of waiting, but based on the past ticket prices I’m not worried.
I also tried out the Bing Travel Hotel Search. While not as excitement-inducing as the Fare Predictor, everything was very organized, and I ended up choosing my hotel from that search.
The one complaint I have about the hotel search is that I re-sorted my initial results by distance, and after clicking over to read more details about one hotel, I had to re-sort again when I went back to the search results. From then on I remembered to open the details in a new tab, but I think that should be done automatically.
Other than that small complaint though, loving Bing Travel. Can’t wait to plan more trips!
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 8. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.