Seattle-based Farecast.com has launched a trial version of a new Web feature that not only lists hotel prices and locations, but rates their prices relative to past prices for the same quality of room at that hotel.
If the Farecast feature works correctly (In my brief experience with it, it fails far more than it produces.) the site will indicate relative bargain-priced hotels by highlighting them in red. Likewise it marks over-priced hotels in a dark blue color on a map.
The service is terrific in theory, but because it has a lot of rough edges, it doesn’t deliver consistently. The number of cities where “Rate Key” information is offered are limited, and the number of hotels rates evaluated are relatively few. The site says the hotels system is still in beta or public testing stage.
Farecast started its Web site 18 months ago forecasting airline prices based on historical data indicating whether it may pay to wait for a lower price or to grab a bargain now.