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Y Combinator-backed new travel site aims to be the 'Kayak on steroids"
GetGoing, the Y Combinator-backed startup that helps you find discounted vacation packages, just launched FlightFinder, a new search service to find more affordable airline tickets by showing you nearby destinations to fly into.
If you don't live in the Bay Area, you might not know that you could fly into Oakland as an alternative to SFO. Depending on your final destiation and ticket price, Oakland may be more preferable. In like vein, if you were flying to Rome, and the price may be a bit steep, you might want to consider other airports relativley nearby with lower airfares.
"Travel search is broken," said Alek Vernitsky, founder and CEO of GetGoing. "You have to search one city at a time. We’re giving you the ability to search by region."
"We show you different destinations with different options," said Robb Henshaw, GetGoing's VP of marketing. "We’re helping people discover and explore cheaper prices than what they originally searched for."
For the airlines, showing vacation travelers other options is a good way to potentially complete a sale. "The airlines love it because if someone sees a $1200 price, they assume they can't fly to Italy," said Vernitsky. "But if you can tell them somehing is much more affordable, people would be willing to pay." Studies conducted by the airline industry have shown that a small reduction of 15% in ticket prices for an airline tickets leads to an increase in market size of 30%, Vernitsky added.
Sounds like an obvious benefit to vacation travelers. The question is, why aren't the airlines or even other services, such as Kayak offering this kind of travel search?
"The technology to do this is very complicated," said Vernitsky. "Airlines are not able to suggest alternatives that are nearby and affordable. We have a large and good development team." Even travel sites such as Kayak don't offer an ability to search for altnerative routes, Vernitsky said, suggesting that the travel industry needs a more up-to-date and innovate travel site, despite Kayak only being around 10 years old. "We want to be the Kayak on steroids."
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GetGoing is making it easier and more affordable for flexible travelers to discover and book their next trip. With an average of one out of every five airplane seats going unsold worldwide, GetGoing enables flexible travelers to easily find and book those seats at a significant discount, while helping airlines profitably fill empty seats.
How the Traveler Wins
Using GetGoing, leisure travelers are rewarded with the best prices on flights for being flexible on their destination. For example, if a traveler is seeking a beach vacation and is willing to go to either Barbados OR Aruba, significant savings can be discovered. Or if they want a European vacation and would like to visit either Paris OR Rome – they can save big on GetGoing. A little flexibility can save a lot of money.
In addition to finding the biggest discounts on the destinations leisure travelers are considering, GetGoing also identifies many additional locations to discover, like Pandora for travel. The traveler tells GetGoing the type of destination or experience they want to have, and GetGoing helps discover other affordable destinations they may like.
Why it Works for Airlines
GetGoing provides airlines with a new, unique customer segmentation tool that enables the airlines to target discounts only to flexible leisure travelers. This introduces a new revenue stream for airlines, without disrupting existing revenue sources. GetGoing is a technology platform that works seamlessly with airlines’ existing pricing and distribution systems, so the airlines get a new tool in their arsenal for more effective, targeted online sales.
Through its existing airline relationships, GetGoing is currently flying to hundreds of major airports in over 50 countries worldwide. The company is currently serving 80% of the population of the top 100 major metro areas, and is rapidly expanding its airline relationships and inventory of flights to cover more areas on a rolling basis.
GetGoing is a Y Combinator company based in San Francisco, and is backed by a number of prominent venture capital and private equity funds. For more information, please visit http://www.getgoing.com, follow us on Twitter @GetGoingTravel (http://twitter.com/getgoingtravel) or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GetGoing.
Joined Vator onAlek is the CEO of GetGoing, where he is responsible for the strategic direction of the company. Alek holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.