Read this is lifehacker, seems interesting, has anyone tried it?
Feb 13, 12, 2:24 pm
Altho I did see the post below the article is from someone who had opposite results.
I'd use it for an int'l trip if I could specify carriers and routes if i was ready to book, ...for domestic I'm happy to do the legwork
Jun 4, 12, 5:45 pm
I think it provides iffy value or the techniques used are unbookeable. To check whether I'm right or wrong & since Flightfox hides results so we can never be sure, I ask: what're your actual results' details/techniques?
To start sharing, my contest (http://flightfox.com/contest/4646)'s results were:
$764 - "Visit orbitz.com for option with one stop on Air Canada. It leaves from Newark, and gives you a stop in Toronto, thus giving you more miles."
$10 less - straight up www.united.com
$67 less - go to vayama.com and select 'Round Trip'; enter EWR and LHR as the search cities; In the box 'carrier preferences' type 'United Airlines"; Search for Mar 26 to Apr 3; this flight should be the first option in the search results
$92 less - http://agence.voyages-sncf.com/Flights-Search?trip=roundtrip&leg1=from:NYC,to:LHR,departu re:26%2F03%2F2012TANYT&leg2=from:LHR,to:NYC,depart ure:04%2F04%2F2012TANYT&passengers=children:0,adul ts:1,seniors:0,infantinlap:Y&options=cabinclass:ec onomy,nopenalty:N,sortby:price&mode=search&rfrr=LP Vol_ColA_MoteurVol&prex=ID_4D8B7BF6E634
$116 less - Cheapoair.com and buy a ticket NYC-DUB; buy a ticket from DUB-LON round trip [on AI]; make sure to select a departure that has a buffer to factor any delays
None were worth the finder's fee ($29).
Disclaimer: I've no interest in Flightfox as more than a user. I'm an authorized fare finder but won 0/4 (http://flightfox.com/contests/1/4147) so I don't do that anymore.
Jun 9, 12, 11:43 am
I think Flightfox provides the most value if you have a complicated booking. The basic A-B-A fare request is probably not worth the fee unless you can't find anything within your budget. However, the majority of Flightfox contests involve some kind of extra request(s) like:
-traveling with x children, want < 2 layovers
-only want to fly on xx alliance, no Chinese airlines
-need to travel on airline that has 2 free checked bags / surfboards / skis
-open to changing my itinerary depending on fare difference, blah blah
and so on.
The "experts" on Flightfox are not all experts. Believe it or not, some of the results involve iffy things like applying for a new credit card just for a fare discount.
My only issue with the website is that it doesn't award contests on a routine basis. If contests aren't awarded/finalized, experts don't get paid. The FAQ says that contests are auto-awarded after 3 days. I'll believe it when I see it.
Jun 9, 12, 10:26 pm
Just not sure about this yet. I signed up to be an expert and I'm 0/6, despite beating the next best offer by quite a bit in several instances. Each time I get some comment that makes the flight unattractive to the buyer:
-Just don't feel like arriving home that early in day.
-Don't wanna pay Spirit baggage fees (even though it's still a big savings overall).
-Don't like those connections, even though I'm flying between two tiny airports.
I question if many of these people are responding to their own post, and then claiming the award after reading our info. They get out research but only have to pay the website's cut of the fee.
Has anyone had any luck as an expert here?
I would really like to see some transparency here with regards to what route they awarded the contest to, especially to the person that submitted a better price.
Jun 12, 12, 2:28 pm
Back when the service first started I had luck with making money - not much but ok for the hours that were spent. After a couple of weeks I generally couldn't find flights lower priced than others.
I did manage to win a few by having the cheapest flights, no scammy apply for a credit card or anything. I normally found the lowest price by connecting multiple tickets.
But once I spent about 5 hours searching and didn't make any money I stopped. A couple of weeks ago I decided to try it from the other side, and then had no luck either. Basically no one could meet or beat the price I had found.
I blogged about it on my site mattsrespite.com (http://mattsrespite.com), the two most recent posts are from the buyers side and there is an older one from when I was bidding on flights (2 or 3 months ago but search for flightfox and they all come up).
I think the site is really good if you have a multi stop trip, and if you are willing to go to a bit of discomfort (long layovers and strange routes) to get the cheapest flights.
I think most people on sites like flyertalk are going to know where to search and how to connect flights already - so probably aren't the best customer.
Jun 15, 12, 6:39 pm
I'm about ~40% win rate as an expert. Just noticed a few old contests have been awarded, thankfully. Hope this trend continues.
While transparency may be nice, I'd rather not have my techniques revealed to the public.. and of course, the site would lose its ability to charge if everyone knew what the experts did. Hmm, kind of like Flyertalk.com - ;)
About half of my wins were due to lowest price .. the other half weren't lowest price but best value. For example, one traveler was going from Toronto to Honolulu and didn't know that there was the Delta A fare (http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18692657-post1073.html) (now gone) for $20 more the going coach fare. That's what won the contest even though it wasn't the lowest price.
I would even go as far as to say most people on flyertalk don't know the tricks to get cheapest fares. They know how to ruin deals and complain about booze refills, sure.. but deals are a different bag. :D
Jun 23, 12, 4:03 pm
Has anyone had any luck as an expert here?
As of tonight, 18 wins out of 86 contests entered (24% success rate) and expert earnings of $439. This has been topped up by some bonuses: $250 during the weekend 'Flight Frenzy' a few weeks ago and $10 during the recent 48hr customer satisfaction bonus run ($10 per flight rated at 4/5 or 5/5).
It has come in very handy in the last month because I've been unemployed and struggled to find work. Spending a couple of hours a day was all that it took to earn the above, and the money arrived just in time to help me through a few tight weeks. However now that I'm back to forty hours a week, I doubt I can maintain the level of interest or motivation to keep hunting for fares.
I have some specific areas of expertise... I'm generally rubbish finding anything trans-Pacific but trans-Atlantic, intra-US and intra-EU I've had some success, and it isn't always about finding the cheapest flight. I try hard to make my entries courteous and friendly, not only with lengthy instructions but also a bit of empathy to the user's needs. It's been fun, but I don't think I'll be continuing with any seriousness for a while.
Aug 3, 12, 3:17 pm
I'm a co-founder of Flightfox. Happy to answer any questions.
For those who don't know how Flightfox works, here's the ideal scenario:
Customer posts trip details
Experts reply with 2-3 ideal flights with different selling points
Customer chooses flight, books, awards winner, that's it.
The value proposition is that a customer pays a fixed fee to get access to people focussed on finding the best flights (not up-selling hotels, etc). It's especially suited to people who know what's possible, but don't have the time or skills to do it themselves.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of variables that create friction. Right now, we're working hard to improve the initial data we collect so the experts have more to work with from the outset. We think this is the key to increasing value for both customers and experts.
For example, we plan to ask about baggage, age of passengers, cost vs convenience, ideal airline alliance, etc.
There's a lot more that needs work, but we're getting to it all based on priorities. I'll keep an eye on this thread and adjust our priorities along the way. Right now we're working on the Contest creation wizard and we're increasing the auto-generated flight information (such as flight duration). We're also working on getting auto-awarding back online (long story), so experts should expect a flurry of awards in the next 48 hours.
All the best,
Todd @ Flightfox
Oct 1, 12, 11:51 am
Any recent experiences positive or negative here?
What is the average finder's fee a user must pay? Is the finders fee determined by the "flight expert"? As a percentage of total cost? Something else?
Oct 2, 12, 3:19 pm
I haven't used the site from either side recently, but the finders fee was set in the past by the person posting the original request. The rationale being that if you want people to work harder for you - then offer a bigger reward.
I just logged in to check, and it doesn't look like that has changed.
Oct 4, 12, 1:34 am
I'm planning a rather ambitious FRA-?-BOG-LIM-IPC-GPS-GXE(?)-?-FRA itinerary for 2013 and if I can save at least $150 per ticket on the lowest price I found and stick to my rough dates and flying *A as much as possible, I'd definitely give it a shot.
Jan 12, 13, 6:02 pm
I have over 300,000 Qantas frequent flyer points and would like to use them towards booking a multi-city journey for me & my wife from Australia through Asia, USA to the UK, on Qantas and its oneworld partners. However, given the lack of oneworld network in Asia, we recognise we may have to buy some legs on other airlines (low-cost etc) so the oneworld sections may become fragmented.
Is Flightfox set up to maximise use of my Qantas frequent flyer points to buy flights or is the loyalty/partner programme aspect still relatively embryonic? The screenshots don't show where you would enter your preference to use points not pay.
Thanks for your help - I just don't want to post a contest and then be wasting people's time.
Jan 12, 13, 8:25 pm
There is a section to enter points and you can leave comments describing your needs. That's the best part of flightfox -- it's manned by humans so whatever doesn't fit the forms you can write down.
I have seen... talented... people entering their membership numbers instead of the amount of miles they have. Don't do that (although the flightfox team will clean it up).
Disclaimer: I am one of the flightfox experts but I am not affiliated with the company. I just have fun piecing together crazy itins for you guys :)
Jan 15, 13, 6:07 am
You could put in FF comments as more info as possible so experts do not spend time searching for something you do not really want, but use your hints to find you the best option.
For 25% off contest fee you could use this link
(I saw on another thread reply with discount link, so I think its ok here)
Jan 18, 13, 8:13 am
I created a contest on Firefox for a multileg itinerary, but the experts did not find anything better than what I had found by myself. I was rather underwhelmed. Having joined this forum, however, I have found out tricks that would save me money in future trips.