Have you ever checked your bank account after booking a flight or hotel room and your jaw drop at the price? Or maybe you have felt like you can get the ticket or room for cheaper? Well, you probably can! Two new Tel Aviv startups are working to solve these common problems facing anyone who frequently travels.
FairFly was founded in 2013 by three students at the Zell Entrepreneurship Program at Israel’s Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) who were mentored by Waze co-founder Uri Levine. Levine was on a business trip to Orlando and realized he had overpaid on a hotel room. He took the idea back to his students, who decided plane tickets were a bigger need.
The students, along with their mentor, built software that searches the web for the best airfare after you’ve booked your ticket. If the price drops more than $50 or five percent, whichever is greater (factoring in any cancellation fees you’ll have to pay), FairFly will alert you and even rebook the flight at the new, lower price.
Another Israeli startup, RoomsNinja, does the same, only for hotel rooms. Like FairFly, users can forward them a copy of their electronic booking and RoomsNinja will scan 45 partner wholesaler websites, several times a day. If the price drops, the savings is passed along with RoomsNinja doing the heavy lifting of cancelling and rebooking.
In the hotel industry, rooms are generally held without charging the traveler’s credit card up until a certain number of days, or even hours, beforehand. When RoomsNinja detects a substantial enough price drop, it notifies the traveler, who chooses how to act. What’s also beneficial is the fact that most of the company’s employees come from the finance world, looking at each hotel room in the same way the finance industry looks at stock options. By running formulas developed originally for the stock market and analyzing historical data , RoomsNinja can potentially predict when a hotel room’s price is likely to go up or down.
Both FairFly and RoomsNinja can be used by anyone, anywhere. FairFly is focusing on the United States while RoomsNinja is directing its marketing effort on Israel, the US, and the UK.
Originally posted at Israel21c.