Travel metasearch engine

Travel metasearch engine

A travel meta-search engine is a search engine that sends user requests to multiple search engines and/or travel suppliers and aggregates the results into a single list or displays them according to their source or ticket price. The term metasearch is frequently used to classify a set of commercial search engines, see the list of search engines, but is also used to describe the paradigm of searching multiple data sources in real-time.Fact|date=August 2008


A Meta search engine is an interface that searches simultaneously through several search engines and chooses among the results. When the user makes a search, the engine gets connected to other search engines like Google, Yahoo and others, and receives all the results. Those results can be presented to the users or they can be selected trough different criteria, for example repetitions elimination. Most of Meta search engines use to present their results without parsing them, or analyze the results and give their own classification, creating a different listing. Usually a Meta search engine process the results when they come at least to avoid repetitions. Making a search in a Meta search engine involves simultaneously different databases, depending on the total number of the bases the engines are searching through. This is the most important advantage in the use of Meta search engines: you can find much more results compared with a single query in a single engine. But they also have some loss: for example most of them usually don't offer Advanced Search options, which are always present on the traditional search engines. On the web, you can find an increasing number of Meta search engines, often more and more specialized on a vertical way: There are Meta search engines for job seekers, for books, for videos, for hotels and so on. Meta search engines create a virtual database. They do not compile a physical database or catalog of the web. Instead, they take a user's request, pass it to several other heterogeneous databases and then compile the results in a homogeneous manner based on a specific algorithm.Fact|date=August 2008 Many list results in terms of price, and others return results in terms of relevance: location or destination. The user is often presented with a choice of multiple carriers or travel suppliers.


Most sites provide meta searches for flights, hotels, cruises, and vacation packages. Numerous travel industry studies have determined that many consumers check three or four websites before purchasing travel. Travel meta search engines bring those sites to the user and offer them a comparison of results across multiple websites.

Industry Growth

Online travel reaches approximately seventy million consumers on the Internet in July 2006, and since has been growing. [cite web | title=Travel: The emergence of Meta Search | author=Saks, Greg | date=2006-11-14 | publisher=Compete | url=]

Industry consolidation

MobissimoMobissimo is another one of the larger engines with funding of just $1 million. Mobissimo is a travel search engine that indexes over 180 travel sites. It searches and compares prices from online travel agencies around the world, traditional airlines, low cost airlines and consolidators.Fact|date=August 2008

Smaller or niche industry examples is a meta search engine for hotel reservations processing the results coming from the most known portals dealing with hotel reservations online, like,,,, RatesToGo, Agoda,, etc. Its main parsing criterion is the best rate and it allows filters use, so you can choose a hotel considering your budget or the hotel stars. You can also select an hotel with bar, an hotel that accepts pets, with restaurant, offering a shuttle service from/to the airport, serving continental breakfasts, with a special access for disabled people, with smokers and non-smoking areas or with a fitness centre.BookingBuddy: The site pulls together 29 aggregators, like Kayak, on one page. You must choose which aggregator you want to use for your travel search and then return to Booking Buddy to search another aggregator.

ITA Software: ITA's system is called "QPX". It is used by many travel agencies and airlines. In January 2006, ITA received $100 million in Venture Capital money, from Battery Ventures. [ [ Software firm gets $100m in backing - The Boston Globe] ]

Metafares: A uniquely branded travel meta search engine, Metafares users are allowed to ask questions about travel and specifics about their destinations or searches with their Yahoo! Answers-style section on the site.

Pricegrabber: The company expanded its services to include travel related products on Nov 8, 2005. [cite web | date=2005-5-9 | title=NEW TRAVEL SHOPPING SITE DELIVERS FLIGHTSTATS RATINGS TO HELP TRAVELERS BUY SMARTER | url=

Travelzoo: Travelzoo is most widely known for its Top 20 email newsletter.Fact|date=August 2008 The company also operates SuperSearch, a pay-per-click travel search engine. Its products also provide Internet users with a source of information on current sales and specials from various travel companies.

Travelgrove: Travelgrove is one of the first travel meta search engines.Fact|date=August 2008 The meta search engine was founded in 2004, and since has evolved to include increased niche functionality to include a travel community, travel guides, and articles.

Bixee Travel: Bixee Travel is a travel search engine with the mission to transform the way travelers search for the best available travel options. With the help of cutting-edge technology this search engine scans in real-time multiple travel websites and displays comparative prices across various providers.

Recent Developments

More recently, airlines have felt the pinch of high oil prices in 2007 and 2008, as well as union costs, which have traditionally put pressure on their financial structures. Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary as saying that he will cancel all bookings made on Ryanair flights through meta-search. As he puts it "We want to cause as much chaos for the screen scrapers as possible" [cite web | date=2008-08-11 | title=Ryanair to cancel all ticket purchases made through price comparison websites | | url=]


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