Yapta unveils airfare price tracking service to save companies cash on travel

Paying too much for corporate travel? Yapta today is unveiling a new product called FareIQ that’s designed to notify corporations when airfares drop, saving money and time.

That’s a similar concept to the consumer offering that Yapta started working on six years ago, but the Seattle company says that its the new service is a 180-degree turn from what consumers experience.

“Based on our intimate understanding of airfare prices, we’re confident we can deliver savings to enterprises of any size,” said interim CEO Ken Myer. “We’re looking forward to serving our early pilot customers– and helping them realize airfare savings that are typically missed.”

In early tests of the new service, Yapta said that it revealed potential savings of as much as $2.8 million on a sample of 100,000 itineraries. The new pilot program begins today with several test customers, including CorpTrav Management Group.

I asked Yapta how FareIQ differs from the consumer offering, since both leverage the company’s core airfare tracking technology. The new service takes into consideration different fees that only apply to businesses, such as travel management companies’ booking fees. As it tracks airfares 24 hours a day, it also uses a “queuing” method for corporate fares.

Essentially, the solution can access passenger name records that are queued up by the company or their travel management company, then conduct pricing analysis and write back directly to the passenger name records when there’s a savings opportunity so that an agent can act on it, the company said.

Yapta’s expansion into the business travel market has been expected. Last year, Redmond-based Concur — the maker of travel and entertainment expense management software — invested $5 million in the company. Other backers of the company include Voyager Capital, First Round Capital and Bay Partners. The new offering also follows the departure of co-founder and CEO Tom Romary, who left Yapta late last year for a new job in Silicon Valley with Rearden Commerce.