Using Crowdsourcing To Find Better Airline Fares

Flightfox, a new startup, uses its team of experts -- many of whom are ordinary people -- to find the cheapest fares for a proposed trip, with the winner receiving a finder's fee.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Flightfox, a California-based startup, allows travelers to use the site's crowd of "experts" -- many of whom are ordinary people with a love of fare-hunting -- to find the most affordable price for trips that are more complex than a typical flight search engine can handle. The traveler pays Flightfox to set up a competition, and the person who finds the lowest fare receives a modest finder's fee equal to 75 percent of the amount paid. The amount of money won depends on the complexity of the trip; currently most competitions offer fees between $34 and $59.

What's the Big Idea?

The site helps fill a gap left by traditional Web sites like Travelocity and Expedia, which are often unable to handle specific requests, such as traveling with a pet or a surfboard. Flightfox co-founder Todd Sullivan says it's not "economically feasible to build an algorithm that covers every aspect of travel." Human searchers also appreciate the challenge and the ability to earn money for their peculiar skill-set. One, Monique Krestyn, says, "In three months, I've made $4,000 and that’s just utilizing my downtime when home and family aren’t demanding me."

Photo Credit:

Related Articles
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less