On TechCrunch today:
Yahoo is cutting more fat today by closing its travel bargains website FareChase, which it originallyacquired back in July 2004 and re-launched two years later. The company will be announcing the shut-down later today, and will start redirecting visitors of the service to its main travel site soon. The service let customers perform comparative searches for pricing on flights, hotels, cruises and cars […] According to Travel Weekly, Yahoo signed a new agreement with partner Travelocity in late February 2009, ensuring that the latter could continue its role as the primary booking engine for Yahoo Travel.
I liked FareChase a lot, even if I rarely used it being only available for the US market: it was making good use of AJAX technology to ease interaction and filtering (but less speedy than Kayak). When Kelkoo was part of Yahoo!, we learned a lot from the FareChase guys about the technology, but unfortunately we were not able to re-use their engine on top of Kelkoo.
As Brian Smith from ComparisonEngines explains in the TechCrunch comments:
Farechase was completely free for the travel suppliers and only made money through advertising. This is much different than Y! Shopping, which makes a good chunk of change through their merchant referrals, in addition to advertising.
That seems a fair explanation why Yahoo! decided to axe FareChase and rely on Travelocity, despite – I think – a weaker product.