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Cheap flight guide

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Looking to save on airline tickets?

As the summer travel season kicks off, we have some good news for frequent flyers. And it could mean money in your pocket.
Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson has more.

All you have to do is click on a new Web site called "yapta.com." It stands for "Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant."

There, you'll be connected to a world of potential savings. And for the airlines, it's a way to build a loyal customer base.

We've all been there.

"It's very time consuming," one airline passenger said.

You're searching for the lowest airfare. Then you book and the price of the ticket drops.

"Yeah, I have a bunch of times I have no choice but to take the loss," another said.

Not necessarily.

Welcome to Yapta.com, a new Web site that could save you money and time.

From his Seattle base, co-founder Tom Romary says he's confident the idea will take off.

"What Yapta does is connects you to that constantly changing pricing environment," he said. "So you don't miss out on a deal or free travel in the form of a travel voucher."

There are other sites which just track markets, but Yapta zeros in on specific flights.

Here's how it works.

Go to a Web site - I picked American airlines - and find a flight. After downloading Yapta, you can now tag your selection.

They'll track and check prices and send you an E-mail when they drop. Then you contact the airline and get ready to make more room in your wallet.

"If you bought a $400 ticket on United, for example, and it dropped to $250, even on restricted ticket, you are offered a voucher good for 12 months for $150," Romary said.

Some airlines even offer cash for what's called a "rollover," minus the change fees.

You can also use the service before you buy a ticket. You will get the same alerts.

Testing revealed that over a 21-day period, about one-third of flights dropped in price and qualified for a voucher or cash back. The average price drop was 16 percent.

"This is going to be great for the really savvy travelers," Pauline Frommer said.

Frommer is a travel expert and created her own line of guide books. She says Yapta is a hugh step forward in a world where airline ticket prices fluctuate like stocks. But she's cautious. The site focuses on certain airlines, and she points out that often you will get better prices from lesser known carriers.

"For example, you fly air Kuwait to Paris for much less than you would on Air France or American," she said.

Be careful. If you book or search for a flight using an online travel service like Orbitz or Expedia and the price drops, you will not be entitled to the guaranteed airfare rule. You must book directly with the airline.

[by WABC-TV]
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