Wednesday, March 14, 2012

FlightFox - A new way to find cheap airfare



I recently made $76 in four hours finding other people cheap flights on Flightfox, a new type of human powered flight search.

Why Pay for Flight Search?

Unless you search every website, subscribe to every newsletter, and become active in every flight forum, you probably aren't getting the best flights. Paying for flight search gives you access to real flight experts at a cost that's a fraction of the potential savings.
Flightfox allows you to post where and when you want to fly, and make and offer to pay someone else to search for you. The bids start at $29, with Flightfox keeping $7 of each bid and the rest going to the flighthacker (their term not mine) who wins the contest.

During the first week I was on the site most flights were getting 2-3 bids, with some getting 5 or 6 but seldom more. That was 3 weeks ago and the situation has completely changed. Now when I scan thru the flights everything has 6 or more bids, and a flight starts getting its first bids within minutes of being posted.



This is really good for people trying to find flights, but the amount of competition will make it very hard for any but the very best flight hackers to win any bids. You can also be sure that searching Kayak, Cheap tickets or any of the more obvious sources will not compare to the flights the flighthackers are posting.   For example on one of the flights I won the person wanted to fly from Ashville, North Caroline to Zagreb Croatia. By sending him to the Lufthansa site to book a flight from Ashville to Frankfurt, then to the Croatia Airlines site to book a separate flight from Frankfurt to Zagreb I was able to get the total cost down to $861.

Another important point when bidding on flights is that the lowest bid does not necessarily win the contest. The people posting the flight are able to review all of the options, and book the flight before awarding the contest to the hacker who has submitted the winning flight. This solves the problem of flight prices changing, or seats selling out before the contest ends, and allows the buyer to choose the option they are most comfortable with. For example if I post a flight with 6 connections but it's only slightly cheaper than a direct flight, you may be willing to pay that $10 extra dollars, and the winner would be the hacker who has posted it.

If you doubt the savings on the flights I would suggest scanning thru some of the older completed flights and doing some comparison searches for yourself. If you're able to find the same prices or better on the majority then this is probably not a service for you. If you do see a large number of flights where you cannot find anything within $50 ($50 minus the $29 fee still leaves you with $21 savings), then you should at least consider using the service. For most people I have a feeling that there will be pretty significant savings.

I think in the future I will be using this as another tool to find the best flight prices, some of the bids I am seeing are amazingly cheap for the flight. Since I am not the person posting the flights I really have no clue how they are finding these prices. I'd like to do a comparison soon of tickets bought 6 weeks out when airline tickets are statistically cheapest and see what deals are being found on Flightfox.

If you can recommend any flight search sites, email them to matthew@mattsrespite.com, I can use all the help I can get!.




Flightfox

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8 comments:

  1. That's an interesting concept. How do you get paid?

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  2. Once the contest is completed and the payment awarded they pay via paypal.
    The people posting flight have 3 days after the end to choose the winner, so the payments are not immediate, but I withdrew on 2 occasions without any issues.
    If you try it out either as a hacker or for finding a flight I'd be interested to hear about your experience.
    If you post a flight send me the link and maybe I'll end up winning it :)
    matthew@mattsrespite.com

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  3. This trend is similar to many crowdsourcing sites, 99designs, elance. But it's quite good, hope it is not loosing on quality too soon.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Another way to get cheap flights, book your flights as part of a package deal. This will not only lower costs but will make it easier for you to plan and organise your trip away as well. Anyway thank you for sharing some way on how to find cheap flights.

    Discount Airfare

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  6. Thanks for this blog that I would able to find Cheapest Airline Ticket for my family. Hoping to share more on your other blogs.

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  7. Thanks for this blog post. I hope it will be a great deal for booking cheap airline tickets. Thanks for sharing this information as I was looking for the same information.

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  8. Thanks for sharing a post about how to book cheap air tickets. Its really a helpful post.
    airline tickets

    ReplyDelete