It looks like the Farecast airfare prediction site has finally opened up their beta site to the world. I checked it out and it looks pretty impressive out of the gate.

My first thought when I saw that they currently only have fares from Seattle and Boston was, "great, the two places in the US that I never end up flying to." Once I got over that though, I decided to do a search for a flight from Boston to San Francisco, which I figure is close enough to the SFO to NYC flight I'll be taking later this month. Sure enough, the prices looked similar and the site suggests that I "buy now" which is what I expected it to say. (I was on 98 flights last year and I booked most of my own travel, so I have a fairly good idea of about how much flight on these routes should cost, on average.) There is clearly a lot of data mining going on here, and I was amused by some of the graphs that showed up while I was playing with the site. Take the one below, for instance:

Why in the hell did the fare go up $11 on that one day? I've got to imagine that airline pricing models have gotten to the point where the airlines themselves don't even know what's going on anymore. Perhaps Farecast will be the straw that breaks the camel's back and causes them to reassess their model (although doing so would probably screw over Farecast).

Overall, I really like the idea behind Farecast and how things are set up currently (although, to be fair, I'm kind of a closet data-mining geek, so I almost always like stuff like this). I can't wait until they add additional cities so that I can actually use it.