FlightFox – Crowdsourced Airline Deals Now Live
There are tips and tricks involved in getting good deals on flights whether domestic or international. Unfortunately, these particular nuggets of insight aren’t quite common knowledge. Online forums like the free to join FlyerTalk have typically been the best way to discuss getting the best deals on flights thanks to its 400,000 member strong community although not everyone feels like getting on forums and posting. For some, that’s too much work and too much waiting.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this has all changed thanks to an Australian startup named FlightFox. Already live, Flightfox uses crowdsourcing to get you the best deal on your flight instead of the now passé algorithm method of calculating the best deal. That is, finding you the best flight is a contest between users that allows the person that offers you the best deal a commission for their work.
Ready For Liftoff
All you have to do on FlightFox is enter your point of origin and destination as well as few other details, not at all unlike what you do at Kayak. Then, the user assigns a “finders fee,” a flat rate that is given to the experts (other users) registered with the site to find the best deal.
The “experts” or “flight hackers” as they’re commonly known, are mostly comprised of frequent fliers with about a 10% group of travel agents also in the mix.
The contest is won by the person who finds the best flight for the user and that doesn’t always mean the cheapest flight. There’s a form to fill in which each user can specifically input details such as “shortest flight time” or “travelling with a dog.” So, a flight with less time in the air but that’s more expensive could be the best option.
Y Combinator and Funding
Y Combinator, a high profile startup incubator that invites startups it believes in to move to Silicon Valley for 3 months while also handing over seed money is an early investor. In addition to Y Combinator, more funding has been provided by 500 Startups, Kevin Laws, Matt Dickinson, Mick Liubinskas, and several others for a grand total of $800,000.
Why Silicon Valley And Not Australia?
McLeod addresses the “brain drain” issue by noting several things.
“It’s not about the money. It’s not about a labor shortage, and it certainly isn’t about access to foreign markets. Instead, this supposed “brain drain” is all about Silicon Valley having the richest and most meritocratic startup culture on the planet. If you care at all about tech startups, it just makes sense to spend time here (Silicon Valley). Imagine learning French and never travelling to France.”
Niki Scevak, who was involved early on with the company believes that FlightFox will still involve Australia. Instead of just basing the company out of The U.S. , he believes that the company will work between the two countries and that the startup’s talent will come from both countries.
According to Scevak, “In my experience, they always end up back in Australia.”