Air travel fares are lower than they have ever been. But they are still expensive for a lot of people. Your business might also notice the burden if your employees or customers travel often. It is, therefore, not a surprise that travelers are always looking for the cheapest flights without compromising on quality.
Many people opt to compare the fares on ticketing apps and websites. This, however, is not an effective approach since the ticket sellers usually indicate higher prices to cater for their commissions. There could also be a cheaper airline or offer that’s not mentioned on your preferred website.
You, therefore, need a more comprehensive analysis, and this can only be achieved by getting detailed data. Collecting data manually consumes lots of time and effort. Instead, you can deploy fare bots to scrape through airline websites to gather data for you.
Scraping for travel fares
Fares and virtually all other details about flights are readily available online for travelers. You can get some from airlines’ websites while, for comparison purposes, you can check on other travel-related sites. This digitization has made planning for flights considerably easier, whether you intend to travel soon or months from now.
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Scouring through websites and apps looking for your ideal airfares or flight details, however, can be quite a tedious task. It’s even tougher if you are planning for a group of people with different preferences.
You are also more likely to make errors or overlook better deals when collecting such an enormous amount of data manually.
That is why many people opt to use fare bots to scrape through websites for flight data. The data is then processed automatically, and you can then use the final analysis to choose the airline and flight that best suits your needs. This process is not only faster but also more accurate.
Bots are continually being used in the data mining process to collect data from websites. Fare bots are no different; they are designed to access a website, mine data relating to fare, and extract it for your usage. The bots are preprogrammed to identify that specific set of data to avoid collecting irrelevant junk information.
The complexity of the bot will depend on your initial design. For instance, a fare bot designed to access only one airline’s website would ideally be less complicated than another one intended to mine data from several sites.
Travel fares are not only available on airline websites. You can, therefore, have your fare bot developed such that it can access other sites for more details. These can include travel advisory and ticketing websites. The data collected by such a bot would be more comprehensive since it would consist of even promotional fares and offers.
Fare bots are harmless to the airlines and other travel-related businesses. But there are other bots designed to collect more sensitive data from the same companies. To protect themselves from such nefarious bots, airlines and similar companies are putting an effort to block bots from their sites.
If your bot is restricted from accessing many such websites, then you cannot rely on the data collected. Your clients could end up missing out on cheaper or better travel services.
To avoid such mishaps, you can try to continuously improve your bots’ complexity so that they can breach through the security features. This, however, requires a considerable amount of resources that your business may not have at hand.
As an alternative, you can use a proxy server to mask your IP. When the bots get to a website, it is less likely to be flagged as a suspicious request and thus will be allowed access.
Using a proxy will also protect your business’s IP address from being blocked by company sites for suspicious activities.
How can travelers use data from fare bots?
- Choose cheaper dates for travel
Fares are generally less expensive on some dates and seasons than others. If your clients are traveling for luxury, they can book flights that align with the cheaper periods.
- Alternative routes
For instance, a stopover or direct route may be cheaper, depending on the flight.
- Book early to save more
Fares tend to rise as holidays and festivities draw near. The data can guide you to note the best period to book a flight for the cheapest rates.
- Take advantage of offers and promotions
The bots scour through various travel websites thus will detect promotions even in airlines that you would not ideally check.
Everyone wants to spend less on traveling. This is even more significant for businesses whose customers and employees often travel on the company’s dime. Travel bots allow you to make a comparative analysis of airlines and flights on offer. The bots are preferred to manual fare comparison because they are faster, more accurate, and reliable.