The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds |

Business / Technology

Our network sites | Advanced

Originally published Monday, March 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

NEW - Introducing a new blog

Sound Economy with Jon Talton

Veteran financial journalist Jon Talton blogs daily on the most important economic news, trends and issues involving Seattle and the Northwest.

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share


Yapta helps connect travelers with savings

A weekly column profiling companies and personalities.

What: Yapta, based in Seattle

Who: Tom Romary, 43, co-founder and CEO

Mission: Help travelers find the lowest airfares and take advantage of frequent-flier programs.

Flight risk: When airlines lower their prices, they don't notify booked passengers that fares have decreased. Yapta tracks these offers in real time, e-mailing customers when a fare is lowered or when an airline offers a special deal on mileage.

Employees: 12

Boarding pass: Customers don't get actual refunds after a price drop, but receive travel vouchers equivalent to the difference. Some airlines charge a rebooking fee, so the discount has to exceed $100 to be worthwhile. Romary said this saves the customer money and the airlines get repeat business. If someone gets a $200 credit, it's almost certain that traveler will take that same airline on another flight.

Financials: The venture-funded company gets a significant share of its revenues through airline referrals. Romary said advertising will support the company, and predicts turning a profit within a year.

Wing span: Last week the company announced expanding into the hotel category, searching for the best rates in a specific area. There is no travel voucher involved here. Yapta books the room and lets the customer rebook the rate. Or the customer can pay Yapta $15 and save a little time.

Bumpy landing: Travelers once didn't care if they paid a premium to fly at certain times, but things have changed. People are paying more attention to their travel budgets, and benefit from Yapta's information. Romary: "We get some last-minute fare requests, but most of our customers are travelers who plan ahead and take some time to find the best deal."

— Charles Bermant

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

More Business & Technology headlines...

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

No comments have been posted to this article.


Get home delivery today!

More Business & Technology

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

UPDATE - 09:32 AM
Bank stocks push indexes higher; oil prices dip

UPDATE - 08:04 AM
Ford CEO Mulally gets $56.5M in stock award

UPDATE - 07:54 AM
Underwater mortgages rise as home prices fall

NEW - 09:43 AM
Warner Bros. to offer movie rentals on Facebook