Spanair sell off flights on eBay

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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, José María 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 González-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.

17 Responses

  1. so if you can sell seats on an aircraft on ebay, why cant you sell seats in a stadium or a pop concert on ebay

  2. Sue, it would work for just about any travel related business that has unsold inventory. They will be competing with Priceline before too long.

    The only problem I see is the downward pressure on regular fares and prices if the unsold seats don’t get close to face value. Why buy a regular fare if you can when it at auction for less. Its not an insurmountable problem but they will need to watch it and they will have to limit the available seats to keep prices up.

  3. I don’t know what ticket pricing is like in the US, Randy, but from my European point of view, you would only be able to save money by being flexible. When I wanted to go to London last month, I could ONLY get there by it being really inconvenient – either driving the entire width of France, or making a five day trip for a one hour meeting.

    Conversely, for my April trip, I’ve got a return flight for €20 (about $25 I think) because I’ve booked three months in advance.

    So I think that sell-offs like Spanair’s will largely dispose of seats that would have gone empty otherwise. I think they’ll be snapped up by people who wouldn’t have been travelling if they hadn’t snapped up the bargain. And as soon as Air France start offering cheap flights on eBay, I’ll be in there snapping them up. 😀

  4. Sue, hopefully you can get to Chicago for eBay Live with less effort than it takes to get to London.

    I pretty much only travel SouthWest Airlines in the US so I’m used to lots of stops.

  5. If you pay via paypal & it goes pear shaped.

    You can’t get a refund.

    Unless they’ve changed them in the last week Paypal T&C state Airline tickets are not refundable.

  6. What happened to Stelios and his auctioning off of easy cruises? This must be going back a few years.

    ah….. here it is:

    “On Monday 23 October, in a ground breaking deal, two of the biggest names on the web are coming together. Stelios’ innovative new brand, easyCruise and eBay announced that – in the first partnership of its kind in the world of cruising – the public will be able to book their easyCruise holiday on eBay.”

    I had a quick search on ebay and didnt find any. I guess that idea worked well then. 🙄



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