a row of black and red chairs

50% of something is better than 100% of nothing!

How do you turn a great flight deal into a terrible one, in a split second? A change of plans is all you need. Virtually every stand out, jump up and down flight deal is purchased on a strictly “non refundable”, and now even “non changeable” basis, so when things go wrong – people expect to eat the airline ticket entirely. A familiar new solution has emerged, and it It appears Air France is leading the way…

a man and woman sitting on an airplane looking at a screenFlexFly

Air France offers a new solution to non refundable tickets, and before you get too excited, you’re not getting all of your money back. The major airline appears to have partnered with FlexFly to offer the first airline ticket marketplace. Yep, it’s just like a Craiglist or Stubhub. You list a ticket, and if someone buys it, you get money rather than remorse. For now, the service appears limited to flights on Air France and Joon, but expansion is inevitable.

a row of black and red chairsHow It Works

Air France and Joon customers can list tickets they can no longer make use of on FlexFly. To be clear: these are tickets they’d traditionally get nothing back on, if they can’t fly. The plane ticket is then listed on the market place at a potential discount versus pricing on Air France. Why would an airline allow this? The person listing the ticket receives 50% of the sale, while Air France and FlexFly enjoy the rest. If the ticket resells, Air France has made a multiple of the original price, by selling it twice. The seller is happy because they get something back instead of nothing and the buyer is potentially happy, because they receive a ticket at a potentially reduced price.

paris streetFuture Use

FlexFly by all accounts appears to be an independent company, perhaps incubated or trusted by Air France as an initial launch customer. On the company’s LinkedIn page, they make it quite clear they hope to become the CraigsList or StubHub of airline tickets, and naturally that would mean working across many airlines. Let’s hope this is just the start. With the seller only receiving 50% of the sale, there’s no benefit to buying high value tickets and reselling them in the secondary market, which takes care of a big consumer concern. It’s exciting stuff.

Thanks to Premium-Flights.com for the tip!

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. this sounds like a 4-way win, though i would say airlines are the one who caused the need for this to begin with.

    now as for your last sentence, what if someone speculatively buys a thanksgiving or christmas eve ticket at $200, and sells it at $500 or so when the flights are sold out? it’s certainly risky on the part of the seller to lose out big, but still a potential for misuse.

  2. Any limitations on the price you choose to list your ticket? Can you list it (substantially) higher than your initial purchase price? (Essentially “scalping” tickets for a high-capacity/event based city pair?)

  3. Hi all,
    Thanks a lot for sharing !
    The model we are experimenting right now with Air France is that the seller gets 50% of original price. We want to keep it simple so far. And anyway we do want to prevent speculation so we don’t see any future where the seller could sell his tickets for a higher price than the one he paid 😉
    Kind regards
    Marina from FlexFly

    1. Well, after looking at the site the only airline supported is Wizzair, which is far less useful for most travelers, so no. But keep submitting the comment a few more times…

  4. In Europe you also get the airport fees and taxes back when you cancel your non refundable flight. That’s within Europe often half the ticket price.

  5. This makes sense for an airline to participate in only if they don’t project being able to sell the seat for more than 59% of the new asking price. E.g., Fred buys a discount $200 ticket for Scarelines flight 123 from Podunk to Plopsville but finds out he can’t fly. Normal case, Fred is out the cost of the ticket and no-shows. If Scarelines managed to oversell the flight, they win by having sold the same seat twice (maybe they got $200 + $200) and Fred loses $209. In the resale model, Fred lists the ticket for $160. If it sells, he gets $80 of it, so he’s out $120 instead of $200. Scareways has Fred’s original $200 plus $40. So they have $240 ($40 ahead).

  6. airline cancellation fees are counter-capitalism. they do not make sense.
    this seems like an improvement but in reality, it shouldn’t be needed. there are many tickets just not being used rather than canceled.

    i like southwest model bc the refund isn’t a pure refund. i gotta believe a lot of people forget about their travel bank and they just keep it.

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