Fare Fight?

It takes luck to snag the kind of deal I found on Delta Air Lines for a spring flight to Istanbul. I owe it to Kayak.com, a "meta-search" travel site that scans hundreds of fares on airline and online-travel sites, then links customers to those sites for booking.
A routine morning check showed the flights I'd been tracking for weeks dropped from $1,400 to $989.
Within seconds, Kayak linked me to Delta's website and the itinerary I selected. I hit "Review and Purchase" and bought the tickets. An hour later, the price was back to $1,400.
Fares on other European flights plunged that day, then quickly disappeared, causing some to suspect a pricing error. Delta wouldn't say what happened, but I was more convinced than ever of the value of online-travel search sites to ferret out the best deals — fast.
Now a standoff with the airlines threatens to dilute the usefulness of these sites, or in some cases, cut them out entirely.


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