The contest is over, the flights have been submitted, and the refund is on the way. Although the contest did not go how I was hoping, there are a couple of good reasons for that.
I had originally found a flight from Prague to Austin for a total of $650. The flight was found by connecting two tickets, The first from Prague to New York on Aerosvit Airlines, and a second from New York to Austin on Jet Blue. The only thing I was unsure about was whether an overnight stay in Kiev was worth the $80 savings. I found this flight on Sunday night, then Monday morning I submitted the flight on Flightfox.
By Monday afternoon I was already getting nervous because the Aerosvit flight had jumped up another $100. Over the next few days I would watch this flight go up to $740, just to get me to New York. At the end of the first day there were no flights, and the fear almost started. My past experiences with the site though gave me strength, I have seen many flights go without any bids until the last day when there will be a flurry of activity. This makes perfect sense - anyone who deals with airline pricing knows how quickly they can change, making any effort searching too early in a contest on Flightfox risky.
Sometime during the second day I received my first bid for $770, way over the $650 I had posted they would need to beat. At this point the fear really began to take hold, as I watched the original flight to New York climb to $740, and drop back to around $700.
So far it wasn't promising at all, and there were a few comments from people that my original flight may have been priced too low. The next bid was for $696, so not too bad until I found out it left from Budapest and still included an overnight stay in Kiev. In my original post I had said other airports than PRG were fine, and the guy posting this one did send me a message asking if Budapest would be ok, after checking the bus times I decided it was a little too far.
As the contest wound down I began to search again, and realized I may not be the best market for Flightfox. I seem to be able to find very good prices on flights on routes I'm likely to fly thus not likely to need someone else to search for me. I also seem to not be able to find the cheapest flights on other routes, so not able to consistently beat out other people bidding on flights. I tend to buy flights to one location without many complications. This service seems best suited for people who don't know or or don't want to do a lot of searching themselves, and who are planning to fly to multiple destinations in a single trip.
I ended up paying about $709 for an Aerosvit flight to New York combined with a Jet Blue flight from New York to Texas. The extra $60 was more than I hoped for, but reasonable to get rid of the overnight stay in Kiev. After the contest ended I could have still flown for about $680 if I did take the overnight stay.
Despite the service not being suited for me, I am still a fan and would recommend it to most people. If you do give it a try - send me an email or leave a comment with your experience. I'd love to hear whether it works for other people.