If that name doesn't ring a bell, it perhaps should. Levine was part of the team at Israeli company Waze, a fantastic service that combined mapping with real-time traffic and road condition updates to deliver a dynamic ride optimization platform that garnered a huge following. Such a big following, in fact, that Google acquired the company.
But, Levine's involvement aside, what is FairFly all about? The company, which was founded back in 2013 by an Israeli team was initially designed as a direct-to-consumer tool. These tools in the travel space are a difficult sell, however, and FairFly pivoted to an enterprise model. (As an aside, but one that is relevant, TripIt, an incredibly useful travel application that has pride of place on my phone, also started out with a consumer focus, but didn't really seem to build a viable business off of that. In its case, it was acquired by Concur and is now part of a far bigger enterprise whole.)
With this new enterprise focus, FairFly is concentrating on partnerships and is now available for travel management companies and enterprises worldwide. It is also currently integrated with Sabre, one of the more popular technology solutions in use in the travel industry. It is also slated to integrated with Travelport and Amadeus soon.
So, what does FairFly actually do? It has an airfare tracking and re-booking system for travelers that allows them to automatically take action in the event that an opportunity arises to save money on an already booked airfares. Airfare pricing is, of course, extremely volatile, as anyone who has booked a flight and seen it show up online at half the price a day later will attest to.
It is estimated that many billions of dollars of potential savings are lost by enterprises and travel companies not taking advantage of savings opportunities post-ticketing. And that failure is understandable -- who has the time to track airfare pricing on a daily or even hourly basis?
Which is where FairFly comes in -- it tracks airfare changes and automatically re-books flights when savings are discovered. FairFly claims that it averages $254 savings per ticket and has found savings on 26% of tickets processed.
“FairFly’s ability to search for similar flights, with small changes in departure time, airline, cabin class, and duration of flight, maximizes the potential for savings opportunities. The technology that supports this type of search is the first of its kind,” explains co-founder and CEO, Aviel Siman-Tov. “FairFly’s advanced algorithms are designed to accommodate various layers of travel policies, giving the company full control to customize search preferences according to employee levels and more, all the way down to a single flight or traveler.”
Though FairFly charges a tiered minimal monthly service fee, the majority of costs come from a success fee, meaning the customer will pay only when savings are realized. This ensures that FairFly’s service pays for itself, and then some, through savings generated and time saved.
FairFly isn't alone in the space; a number of similar organizations aim to maximize savings on airline bookings. That said, it is a big opportunity. I myself fly several hundred thousand miles per year, and would love to have a service automatically massaging my travel to ensure maximum economy.
Increasingly, travel management companies will be forced to provide their customers with a "best price guarantee" as a matter of course -- I envision a future where every travel company will use a product like FairFly simply to tick the economy box for their customers, and to allow them to focus on adding value to the traveler's plans.
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