FlightFox offers an interesting twist on helping people book flights. Unlike traditional travel agents, most of whom have been replaced by Orbitz, or the numerous experts who claim to help you use your award miles to book a dream vacation, FlightFox is somewhere in the middle. They hire expert travel hackers and pair them up with customers looking for not just a good deal, but the best deal.
For a fixed fee their experts use various tricks to help save more money than you may have thought possible. It’s not always difficult. More than once a friend has come to me with a suggested flight, and I get back within 10 minutes showing how to save a couple hundred dollars. (It’s easier with international flights, I’ll admit.) But sometimes there’s more to it than just doing a good search on ITA.
In fact, FlightFox is hiring a new “Analytical Flight Hacker” right now for a full time position. (Applications are due this Friday, April 11.) The job requirements give you an idea of what they expect to deliver to their customers. Step 1 is finding the cheapest fare from Australia to Canada, stopping in Germany. Oh, and you have to explain why whatever you found is better than an ordinary search on ITA. This could mean things like hidden city ticketing, booking a round-trip rather than a one-way, and using quirks in the published fare rules.
It’s an interesting job opportunity and one I might consider pursuing if I weren’t already old and married. Case-in-point:
The successful applicant will be booked on a one-way ticket to Montréal for an intense 3-month training period, and will then travel and work with the team from a different location every 3 – 6 months. Locations are discussed and debated within the team, with Montréal as our base HQ and Sydney, San Francisco, León and Berlin as previous ‘remote office’ locations.
Worth noting: I’ve met Lauren personally, and I’ve talked with her co-founder, Todd, a couple of times on the phone. It’s been several months since then, but they’re good people and probably great bosses, too.
But for those of us who don’t see a new job in our future, if you’re having trouble getting a good fare, or especially if you’re trying to book travel for a group — where the mistakes add up fast — consider trying out FlightFox before your next trip. They’ll do anything from a basic economy class fare to a complex first class flight around the world. They’ll even help you incorporate your frequent flyer miles to bring down the cost (miles one way, cash the other, for example) or help you book a mileage run (though I think that defeats the purpose).
I once helped a reader save over $2,000 on a business class ticket to Paris just because I knew where to look. It’s not hard to recoup a $49 fee for some help planning your next trip, the longer and more obscure the destination the more likely you’ll need the help. So if this is something where you think, “I already know all that,” then maybe you’ll find this an interesting job opportunity. And if you’re still completely clueless and anxious about planning the family vacation, hey, at least you know there are people out there who will help guide your way.