A new technology for the online purchase of airfare, RateShrinker, offers the cheapest flights guaranteed. Have you ever spent hours online shopping for the cheapest flights only to watch prices fluctuate during your search? How would it feel to be guaranteed not only the lowest price at the time of purchase, but to also have a price guarantee that would refund your money if a cheaper flight was found for your same itinerary even after your ticket had been purchased?
Most shoppers are aware of 7-day price guarantees offered by most major retailers. Bought a pair of jeans at the GAP and noticed that they went on sale a few days later? Bring in the receipt and they’ll refund the price difference. But most travelers don’t realize that similar price guarantees are offered by the airlines. In an industry where prices can fluctuate at a moment’s notice this type of price guarantee can give you a lot more confidence when purchasing a flight.
We’ve outlined two options to monitor price drops after booking your flight. The first option, Yapta, requires no fees but the service has its limitations and it will cost you time as you are required to manually enter each flight segment into your Yapta account. The second option, RateShrinker, offers the best price guarantee we’ve ever seen on airfare and requires no work on your part but is only available to members of the travel club that offers this service (for details on other member benefits visit our Travel Club page). Here’s how Yapta and RateShrinker stack up:
If the price of your flight drops below the fare you paid, Yapta helps you get a refund for the difference. Here’s how:
- Create an account – By registering with Yapta you can create an account to track your airfare purchases.
- Check the list of participating airlines – Only select airlines participate in Yapta’s price adjustment program. Check Yapta.com for the latest inclusions.
- Enter each flight segment – Unfortunately Yapta is not able to track a price simply by your departure and destination cities. Flights are tracked by each segment and therefore you will need to make sure you’ve entered details for every segment of your trip, including the return information for a round trip flight, in order to start tracking prices. This can be a bit time consuming but might be worth the effort if it saves you a hundred bucks.
- Price Drops – Select airlines offer refunds or credits for price drops of any dollar value. Other airlines offer refunds or credits for price drops of $75, $100, $150 or more. The policies vary by airline.
- Beware of Ticketing Fees – Most airlines charge a re-booking fee from $50 to $250 to re-issue a ticket at the lower fare. However, if the price drop exceeds the cost of the re-booking fee you’re still saving money on the flight.
- Refunds vs. Vouchers – In most cases if you’ve booked a fully refundable ticket you’ll receive a refund for the price difference. However, with the various fare classes of tickets that are available today it’s extremely rare to pay the higher fare for a fully refundable ticket. For non-refundable tickets (those offered by Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and even the airlines websites) you will be offered a voucher or credit from the airline.
- Travel Vouchers vs. Travel Credits – Travel vouchers typically don’t retain any residual value. For example, if you have an $80 voucher and only use $50 worth of the voucher, you will lose the remaining $30. Travel credits typically retain their full value. Given the same scenario as above, the remaining $30 credit would be available for you to use on a future flight.
- For full details on the program visit Yapta.com.
RateShrinker is an exclusive member benefit of Spoiled Traveler’s Preferred Travel Club. We consider RateShrinker to be far superior to Yapta. Here’s why:
- Fully Automated System – While Yapta requires users to create an account and manually enter each individual flight segment to track price fluctuations, RateShrinker is fully automated and requires no effort on your part. This technology is built into the booking engine which is provided as part of a personalized travel website for members of the Travel Club. As soon as you hit the “Purchase now” button, RateShrinker will begin scanning hundreds of databases for a lower fare on your exact same itinerary. If RateShrinker finds a lower fare, your original ticket will be voided and reissued at the lower fare. The price difference will be credited back to your credit card and you will be notified via email that you’ve saved money on your flight. It’s as simple as that. Cheapest flights guaranteed.
- Applicable to All Airlines – Although Yapta is limited to select airlines RateShrinker searches for lower fares for all airlines.
- Refunds (Not Vouchers or Credits) – While Yapta often provides travel credits or vouchers RateShrinker provides refunds. If you booked a flight with your credit card, the price difference is refunded back to that credit card. If you booked a flight for free with travel rewards known as travel dollars (available to members of the travel club) then the price adjustment will be refunded in the form of travel dollars. This is the equivalent of booking a flight with frequent flier miles then receiving a refund on your frequent flier miles if the price drops.
- Refunds for Any Value – Another drawback with Yapta is that some airlines require a minimum price drop of up to $150 before price adjustments are offered. However, the RateShrinker technology does not have a minimum requirement for price adjustments.
- Travel Club membership – In order to take advantage of RateShrinker you must be a member of Spoiled Traveler’s Preferred Travel Club. There are countless perks of membership, and RateShrinker is only one. For more information on member benefits visit the Travel Club page.
The RateShrinker technology is by far the best airline price adjustment program we’ve ever seen. This is truly the best deal out there for airfare. Cheapest flights guaranteed? Nothing else compares.
Photo Credit: Airplane by Xlibber on flickr