Fare Compare iPhone app is less than fair

Sep 11, 2010
Shopping

At first glance, the free Fare Compare iPhone app looks appealing, but as you pull back the layers, it’s more work than help. The goal of the app is to save you money by comparing airfares between major cities and to send you alerts when prices change. It also show you fares for every day […]

At first glance, the free Fare Compare iPhone app looks appealing, but as you pull back the layers, it’s more work than help.

The goal of the app is to save you money by comparing airfares between major cities and to send you alerts when prices change. It also show you fares for every day of the month, which would be great if that’s how the app functioned. I gave it a test drive and found that the information that was given on the first screen is not accurate. This creates headaches, as it makes you work harder to get information instead of assisting you.

I gave it a test drive and plugged in my first destination, flying to New York City from Phoenix. The fare looked enticing at $239; but the first thing I noticed was a little strange. There’s a calendar that pops up with fares that you would expect would change depending on what day you flew out on. However, no matter what day I flew on, the fare was always $239. So just to make sure, I poked around and looked at November and December as well, and the same price came back for every single day. But when  I plugged in my dates, the lowest fare that popped up was not $239, but $339. So I tried it again, but this time I thought I would be clever and put in a date range between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31. The result was a low price of $242, which appeared on only three of the 31 days!

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Just to be sure, I gave the app the benefit of the doubt and tried a different city. I used the same criteria and received the same results. It kind of feels like a bait and switch. What’s that old adage, “You should under promise and over deliver?” Well this app does just the opposite. It’s just too much work.

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