Monday, September 10, 2007

Have you been to Vayama?

If you're interested in international travel and haven't visited Vayama.com, do yourself a favor and take a look. At first glance, Vayama might seem like any other travel site--there are drop-downs for origin and destination points, classes of service, and travel dates. But Vayama is a little different.

Unlike most travel sites, Vayama offers only travel between major U.S. cities and major overseas destinations. You can't use the site to look for domestic trips. That's not a downside; by taking this approach, Vayama is able to provide several benefits that broader fare finders can't. Among the benefits:
  • You can leave either the destination or the origin open. Vayama can tell you, for instance, which international city is the cheapest destination from Washington-Dulles Airport in D.C., or which U.S. city is the cheapest place from which to depart if you want to get to Tel Aviv, Israel. (Of course, you do have to provide one or the other.)
  • Vayama includes international low-cost carriers. Most of the fare finders give strong preference to U.S. airlines and concentrate on major foreign carriers when they're included. Vayama includes foreign airlines that aren't part of alliances, like Air Pacific. On the other hand, you can also indicate an airline preference if you have one.
  • Search results provide lots of information. When results come up, you can quickly see everything from what alliances an airline has to what restrictions apply to the specific fare code that the search has found. Taxes are broken out in the itemized cost but included in the bold round-trip price quote that you'll see first--a big improvement over teasing you with a low fare only to find that the tax-inclusive price is $200 higher!
Understand up front that Vayama imposes a fee when you book through the site. In many cases, the fares that Vayama finds are published, in which case you can go to the Web site of the airline offering the lowest fare and book directly. And in those instances where Vayama has found you a special fare available only through the site, you're usually saving more than the $10 fee by taking the special.

Sure, Vayama isn't perfect. It doesn't include all or even most destinations, and it doesn't deal with domestic U.S. flights. But when you're looking to travel internationally, give it a try. You may save a lot of time and money.

1 comment:

mister mateo said...

Thanks for your kind words about vayama.com. Unfortunately several of your comments are not entirely accurate and seem to relate more to our deals page than our regular flight search.

First of all, although we do specialize in international travel you can indeed book domestic flights on our site.

Also, as long as you have a credit card with either a US or Candian billing address you can book tickets between virtually any cities in the world that have scheduled commercial service, not just major gateways. The only destinations that you really can't book are those that we're prohibited from booking by the US government (ie: Cuba).

Please also note that deals page only highlights a select handful of specials that we can offer. Just because the deals page might only list specials to Tel Aviv out of Washington DC doesn't necessarily mean that you can't find the same (or cheaper) price out of another gateway such as Boston or New York. Because of the infinite number of routes that we can sell it's impossible to profile every single one of them. If you are heading to Israel and don't live in the Washington DC area then it would definitely be advisable to do a search on our home page from your hometown airport instead.

On the same note, leaving the destination or origin open only applies to searches on our deals page. When booking actual flights you do need to indicate both.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Matt Radack
Industry Relations Manager
vayama.com
mattr@vayama.com