Farecast plans to announce Fare Guard today, a service that guarantees that an airfare listed on the site will remain valid for a week, or Farecast will make up the difference.

The hitch is that customers are subsidizing that promise with a fee of $10 a ticket - essentially making the service an insurance program. But analysts said that many consumers could embrace this apparently novel idea, since it helps take much of the risk out of a transaction that is notoriously rife with price volatility.

“You’ve got to give them credit,” said Henry H. Harteveldt, an online travel analyst with Forrester Research, a technology consultancy. “To my knowledge there’s nobody else out there offering you an insurance policy for airfare.”

Get the full story at The New York Times