January 16, 2013

Kayak adds price forecasting to its flight search results

Back in November, the company published “When To Book” guidelines that were based on its analysis of over one billion search queries across its products. Today the company added price forecasts to its flight search results.

While Kayak users have long had access to a fare history chart, the addition of its forecasting tool means that all Kayak search results now include a forecast of whether the prices in your search are going to rise or fall within the next week.

KAYAK’s Chief Scientist Giorgos Zacharia, who led the development of the company’s new price forecasting tool, tells us that the algorithm includes data from a wide range of faring and availability providers across the billion-plus annual queries made across the company’s websites and mobile apps. And, as with Kayak’s search engine itself, the more the company collects data and tests the algorithm, the more it expects the accuracy of its forecasting tool to improve, Zacharia said.

In addition, he says, the forecast tool also uses historical data and year-over-year trends when deciphering whether to buy now or wait. That information coupled with Kayak’s proprietary technology allows the forecast tool to come to a specific buy or wait conclusion. While the tool does not display individual data sources, it is based on data from multiple providers across over one billion annual queries — a much larger data set than any of Kayak’s competitors currently offer.

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