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Bidding on tickets through an app

Air Ticket Arena is a new, mobile app enabling you to bid on airline seats within 2 weeks of departure. Air Ticket Arena has adopted the slogan “Let the Airlines Fight for Your Money” and aims at selling 300,000 seats a year.

Air Ticket Arena founder Kresimir Budinski claims that the app serves both buyers and sellers by allowing carriers to turn unsold seats into extra revenues and enable passengers to bid for last-minute flight bargains. Carriers decide between 24 and 48 hours before a flight which seats are available and which bids to accept.

Return flights can be up to 14 days after departing flights, while separate bids must be placed for each leg of the trip.

Travelers need to register and download the app to submit bids on seats that remain unsold 24 or 48 hours prior to departure. If a bid meets the predefined requirements the carrier automatically accepts it and delivers the e-ticket electronically.

Budinski, a former military pilot, says that the company has secured Croatia Airlines as its first airline customer. He also claims to have signed agreements with 7 other European and Middle Eastern carriers, including Turkish Airlines. He expects to have 10-15 airline customers by year’s end.

The idea is not entirely new as a number of carriers already allow passengers to bid on upgrades from economy to business of first class. What’s more, Priceline.com introduced the “Name Your Own Price” service in 2012, but discontinued it on September 1, 2016, at least for flights.

An important difference between Air Ticket Arena and Name Your Own Price is that the first allows you to bid on a particular carrier, destination and departure date. The latter, in contrast, only allowed for a kind of blind date as passengers could just submit a price without knowing which airline would operate the flight or what the schedule would look like.

Budinski blames the demise of Priceline’s service on the fact that Priceline did not develop a mobile app. However, the blind date character of Priceline’s service may have been a more important factor.

Tags: Air Ticket Arena, Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines

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