Spanair have announced plans to sell off 15,000 flights on eBay Spain, starting at bids of just €1 (70p). Flights to both domestic and European destinations, including the Canary and Balearic Islands, will be sold on both return and one-way tickets. The first lot of 5,000 three day auctions will begin on February 22 for flights between February 28 and March 3; similar sales of last-minute flights are planned for March and April.
Spanair’s Director of Ecommerce, JosÃ© MarÃa Barrado, said that the initiative allowed customers to set the price for the first time in the history of Spanish air transport.
eBay Spain’s Director of Business Development, Laura GonzÃ¡lez-Estefani, said “By means of this agreement, Spanair will not only benefit from reaching a passionate community currently comprising over three million users, but also from the guarantees of security, trust and secure transactions maintained by eBay since it initiated operations. These include the possibility of payment via PayPal, the voting [feedback] system and over ten years’ experience accumulated by the company worldwide”.
We’re going to see a lot more of this in the future, I predict: eBay partnering with big companies, and hyping the security aspect of trading on the site. I’m sure that the possibility of negative feedback doesn’t worry Spanair too much, though I am concerned about the aside that “ticket prices do not include the applicable taxes or commissions.” eBay have other initiatives to encourage price transparency, so that element seems likely to lead to trouble if buyers have to pay much more than the hammer price.