Cool Tools: Yapta

is my new favorite search tool for airline flights in that it eliminates the need to surreptitiously scour flight search aggregators during work hours without colleagues watching over my shoulder (I used to have a rear-view mirror on my desk, but the cleaning staff broke it, even though the office manager claimed they did not).

Here’s how it works: Type in your trip (date, time, to/ from, number of travelers) and Yapta pops up a number of flight options, like a regular search. But – and here’s the part that makes it so ubercool – you can pick the flight you want to “watch” and it will e-mail you an alert when the price decreases. I tested this out on an upcoming trip Jon and I have to my friend’s wedding to Sweden in August, where we will arrive via London before EasyJetting up to Scandanavia. So far I have received two alerts on my selected flight dropping $25 so far. (I am aiming for a $500 ticket and selfishly hoping the economy continues to keep my travel prices and currencies low).Yapta

If you’re like me and occasionally dabble in some self-masochistic behavior of checking flight prices AFTER purchasing so you can wallow over the wasted money, Yapta also alerts you on this. Enter the price you paid, and when the flight drops below your price, Yapta will instruct you how to get an actual refund – or for $15, it will get the refund for you. Yes, it really will. Yapta also just started tracking frequent flier mile flights for five airlines – Alaska, Continental, Delta, US Airways, and United. How’s that for my first Cool Tool.

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