Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Going, going, gone!

It seems JetBlue Airways is to auction a whole load of flights (300 to be exact) as well as six package holidays on eBay.

The airline claims it is the first to sell flights and packages via the service. We're not sure about that - Singapore Airlines did it for the first A380 superjumbo flight, although it was for charity.

Lots of other travel companies have tried shifting holidays through eBay - Thomson, easyCruise to name a couple.

Thomson even had a sort of shop on the service.

And, a couple of years ago there was some anecdotal evidence of reasonable margins from selling distressed inventory through eBay.

So, why hasn't the travel industry adopted it more fully?

Thoughts please.

Linda Fox, lead reporter, Travolution


Alex Bainbridge said...

Hi Linda,
The reason auctions don't work for travel is that although there is generic demand for a travel product - there may not be specific demand.... i.e a particular date, people, rate combination.
Well, not enough specific demand to drive the auction price upto market value anyway.

What did easyCruise do?

Zorba said...

Hi Linda

I have to agree with Alex; we have tried various mixes of package and single items on ebay and have had very little success.

I can't remember the name but a few years ago there was a site that used to sell holidays as an auction, can't seem to find it now so looks like this has hit the deadpool?

Travolution Blogger said...

Thanks guys, you're right but what about all those promiscuous internet shoppers they tell us are out there all the time searching for the best deal. There is also the fact that people are travelling within days of booking etc... Maybe travel on auction sites was before its time.

Alex, easyCruise did deal with eBay about a year ago to auction off its cruises.

Travolution Blogger said...

There was bid4myholiday.com, not sure if that is the one you mean and I think there were others too.

Claude said...


Cultuzz plateform do that stuff well for hotels and for German, Austria and Swizerland markets

eBay DE is a wery strong portal and the travel category is well made.

In France, this stuff doesn't work !

I can tell you, I was Cultuzz french agent for some months, and it can't work for many facts (from eBay France side, from Cultuzz side, from the market side, from the hotel mentality side, etc)

Jet Bleu sale simply voucher, so easy stuff, no technical headeck ;-)

Best regards from my sunny Marseille


Anonymous said...

I can see Alex and others thoughts on that fact there is not specific demand for such a thing. However, it does seem that one of the travel companies should capitalize on the online market. Some type of auction sound like a good idea. Sorry I have no break through ideas but I did run across a new travel site, baraaza.com
. Its pretty cool.

Tony said...

I have to agree that there just isn't specific demand, unless your talking about JFK to MIA during the winter I could only see auctions being used during extremely high booked flights like that but even then I as the customer don't like that.
A little off topic but, I found a website that I thought you would like, its called baraaza.com
Its a cool site to interact with other people about places to visit, or hot deals, or locations...its better if you see for yourself :)
So check it out and tell me what you think!

Travolution Blogger said...

Thanks guys, I remember an Eye for Travel conference with someone from eBay talking about the success of travel on eBay in Germany - with the caveat that it might not work in the UK.

Thanks too for the hat tip on baraaza - we've signed up and will follow it along with all those other betas out there.