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Airlines Are Putting Unused Seats up for Auction

Economy seats in a Boeing 757. - These images are protected by copyright, and are available here with permission from the copyright owner. You may use these images to promote Delta as part of Delta-approved marketing and advertising. Further distribution, reproduction, display, or other use is strictly prohibited.

Heads up, spontaneous travelers. Some airlines are now participating in an app that allows last-minute flyers to bid on unsold airline seats like you would buy something on an eBay-style system. But you have to be quick and willing to travel at a moment’s notice.

If you’re a last-minute-travel fan, you’ll probably want to get the new app Air Ticket Arena. It works on an eBay-style system to allow travelers to bid on unsold airline seats at a fraction of the cost. The catch is that it’s last minute travel, so you have to be sure your schedule is clear first.

Here’s how it works: Up to two weeks in advance, users can select the destination they want to visit, departure and return dates, and the number of tickets needed. You can also choose a preferred airline, but the one you want most may not be participating in the app. One to two days before the flight, participating airlines advertise their chosen number of empty seats on the app. Users get a notification and the bidding war begins. You decide what you want to pay, but the airlines also have a bottom price they’re willing to go down to. If you win, the app purchases your flights for you, and off you go.

The app itself is free, so there’s no reason not to get it. The program is similar to some other available options from airlines as well; particularly PlusGrade where users can auction off seat upgrades to economy passengers on the same flight.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
84fiero February 16, 2018

Did you actually successfully use this app in the course of writing the article? Because I can't even get the registration to work. And from the reviews on the GooglePlay Store (average of 2 stars), I'm not alone in being unable to use it at all...most detail various problems with the app from registration all the way through the point of attempting to find flights. The developer responds to negative reviews with the same canned wording even when the issues are not at all the same. A small number of 5-star reviews are obviously fake and non-substantive. Did Air Ticket Arena pay FT for this post?

Benj K February 14, 2018

The website says it's available in the App Store in March 2018.

Bear4Asian February 14, 2018

I searched for an app for Air Ticket Arena. Nada. Can’t try it if you don’t tell us how to find it.

DHSGemini February 14, 2018

I looked for this app in the app store but could not find it. Is it currently android only?