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Want To Buy Travel Better? Use Big Data – Forbes

On my radio show, Launch Pad, I talk with entrepreneurs about their startups, and once a month I choose an Elevator Pitch Of The Month. This month my selection is Alex Mans, Founder of Flyr.

Courtesy of Flyr

Flyr’s FareKeep product enables travelers to lock an airfare while finalizing their travel plans

I love everything about travel. I travel a lot, and I adore startups that make anything about travel faster, easier, or really better in any way. Last winter I interviewed the founder of a supersonic jet company, which I can’t wait to fly in.

Recently, I interviewed Alex Mans, founder of Flyr, and I was captivated by the ways he’s bringing big data and machine learning to a very old business model—insurance, really—in order to help consumers get good airfares, and airlines be better at pricing their tickets. It’s a fascinating combination, and one that you can, and should, be using to help you shop for plane tickets.

Here’s Alex’s elevator pitch:

Elevator Pitch: “What we do at Flyr is we are really good at predicting what the price and availability of specifically airline tickets will be in the future, and we use that knowledge to either allow customers that are booking their travel have more flexibility in doing so on sites like Trip Advisor. Or on the other hand help airlines be better at pricing their airline tickets.” Listen to Alex give his elevator pitch here.

Basically, you start to look for plane tickets for an upcoming trip. You find a good price, but you need finalize your plans, and you’re afraid that the price will spike if you wait too long.

Here’s Flyr’s solution, in Alex’s words: “On sites like Trip Advisor we give consumers the ability to pay us a small fee, and in return we will guarantee today’s price. So even if the price spikes by the time you make your booking we will cover that price increase.” What kind of small fee? $4 to $20, on average $13.

Want To Buy Travel Better? Use Big Data – Forbes

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