Going once, going twice, sold for an actually good price! It’s so easy to get jaded in a travel world where almost every change or “enhancement” seems to come at the detriment of passengers. Though its merits are yet to be seen, Iberia introduced a new concept: fare auctions. Real ones with opportunity for savings.
Auctions are an opportunity for airlines to create engagement and repeat traffic. It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but it’s actually fairly clever. Sure, my mom isn’t going to log in daily to compete for a lower fare, but there is a generation and a demographic who would love the opportunity to travel for less. Iberia has instituted “one off” auctions to various destinations, including a range of short and long haul, in a style similar to eBay with a “Buy it Now” option serving as a gauge of value. There are reports of fares from Spain to New York auctioning as low as $450 round trip, far below the standard $700-1000, and short hauls within Europe going for as little as $25. While auctions aren’t an entirely new concept to the airline industry, to the best of my knowledge Iberia’s are the first truly open auctions with transparent bidding for standard seats and not “extras” like upgrades.
Frankly, I have very little interest in Iberia, it’s the concept that intrigues me. Auctioning off open inventory generates good will, opportunity for customers and a repeated swell of interest knowing that the steal of a lifetime could be lurking. The concept of auctions for last minute or historically low seasons of travel could be something of the future and certainly something I’d love to see more of from other airlines. Kudos Iberia for bringing something new to the game. Throw in some business class auctions and I will write a post offering ten reasons to fly Iberia and no one else. Just kidding, but seriously….
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