Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pay As You Fly

A South African company by the name of Airtime Airlines is preparing to change the way we think about airline ticketing with a creative pricing model.
The company will be launching a new system called iFly Airtime, a pay-as-you-fly system that allows passengers to purchase “flying minutes” and book flights using the text message function on their cell phones. The company will attribute values to each leg of their flights at a set number of "flying minutes", regardless of any potential delays.

All reservations must be booked within 90 days of purchasing airtime and all travel must take place within 365 days to eliminate wholesale purchase of flying minutes.
The company will co-brand with cellphone network service providers MTN, Vodacom and Cell C. For those who are unable to book within the requisite time-frame, flying minutes will be made transferable to their cell phone accounts. Furthermore, flyers who sign-up for the frequent flyer program will receive a free phone from one of the above providers after purchase of their first flight.

There are still a certain amount of red tape for Airtime Airlines prior to their planned launch in February, but it'd be interesting to see whether a new player on the market can overcome some well established brands through their innovative and novel offering.

Via: Wired, PSFK