Kayak Says New AI Tool Reads an Airfare Screenshot to Find A Lower Price. We Tested It


Skift Take

A crazy twist in the world of travel and AI, here’s a tool that seems to actually work as intended.

Kayak this week released a tool that it says can read flight fare information from a screenshot and then search for a better price. 

It sounds like a useful tool. But with so many clunky platforms coming out lately that tout the use of AI, we were skeptical. 

So, we tested it out. 

Kayak released PriceCheck this week along with an AI trip planner called Ask Kayak. Kayak is a metasearch website and app owned by Booking Holdings. It compiles options from various booking sites, allowing users to compare rates and then navigate to a third-party site to complete the purchase.

Getting Started

PriceCheck is located near the bottom of the screen on the main page of the app. 

After finding a flight on another site, take a screenshot that includes the complete itinerary and price. Click the “upload screenshot” button within the PriceCheck tool and select that screenshot.

Kayak says it searches hundreds of sites to see if it can find a better price for that same flight.

How it Works

We tried the tool using two roundtrip routes: Madrid to London and then Madrid to Jarkarta, Indonesia. 

First, the Expedia app offered a trip from Madrid to London, April 6-20, on British Airways for $221.

IMG 4211
Expedia: Madrid to London

That screenshot was uploaded to Kayak PriceCheck, and it turned out that Expedia already offered the best price. Kayak suggestes alternatives for lower prices.

IMG 4213
Kayak PriceCheck: Madrid to London

Madrid and London aren’t very far apart, though, so prices are less likely to fluctuate much. What about Madrid to Jakarta?

The price on Expedia was $879 for a roundtrip flight, April 6-20, on Qatar Airways.

IMG 4218
Expedia: Madrid to Jakarta

Using PriceCheck this time, Kayak found an offer for the exact same flight at $49 cheaper.

IMG 4219
Kayak PriceCheck: Madrid to Jakarta

Conclusion 

Kayak issues a warning within the PriceCheck tool: “Itinerary information was processed by AI. Please check for accuracy before booking.”

But, the Skift test showed that the tool got everything right: the dates, times, airline, and the airports. And it found a lower price.

The stakes are much lower for this tool compared to the trip planners that tout their use of generative AI — PriceCheck is not worried about cross referencing thousands of flights and rentals with specific interests in the name of personalization. It only has to read the text from a screenshot and make a new search using the correct information.

Maybe it’s the simplicity that makes this tool feel a bit refreshing compared to complicated AI trip planners that are still in the experimental phase. While PriceCheck is still in beta mode, it has actual utility today.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top