Catch the Best Fares with George Haskell

60 Seconds with George Haskell of Flight Fishing

George Haskell
George Haskell, Flight Fishing Founder

Flight Fishing aims to “catch the best fares and throw back the rest” by searching the Web for the best fares for flexible travelers and delivering them via email, text or tweet. Flight Fishing is a finalist for the Launchpoint funding competition and the $50,000 grand prize that will be awarded to a startup focusing on providing tools, services and apps for frequent travelers. We spoke with George Haskell, Flight Fishing founder, a self-professed travel hacker.

InsideFlyer
What motivated you to create Flight Fishing?
George Haskell
I started working on Flight Fishing because I found it was getting more and more difficult to watch all the different sites where good deals on airfare were popping up. There are so many newsletters, alerts and travel sellers that I was having to dedicate a lot of time to finding deals on flights I was interested in. I started working on Flight Fishing in early 2013.

IF
How does Flight Fishing search for deals?
Haskell
We’re a deal aggregator so we monitor just about every travel, airline and airfare deal site out there and pull it all together in one place. We’re also gathering a lot of data from social media. You’d be surprised how often people share really great finds on Twitter! Overall we’re reviewing more than one million data points each day looking for low fares. We distill all that data down to about 100 fares each day that we think are good enough to publish.

IF
How do you know when a flight is a good enough?
Haskell
We have an algorithm that scores each deal based on cents per mile, season, class of service and fare history to determine when to send out an alert. We’re constantly adjusting the system and building new ways for our users to specify which alerts they want to receive (and which ones they don’t).

IF
With so many websites offering flight search alerts, what makes Flight Fishing unique?
Haskell
Flight Fishing is the only alert service that’s fast enough to catch mistake fares, flexible enough to let you set your destination to a specific city or anywhere in the world, and customizable enough to make sure you only get the fares you want. Our system runs 24 hours a day and our helpers in Asia, Europe and the U.S. are moderating and approving alerts to be sent every six minutes. Every fare alert is customized to the user so they’re not getting fares they don’t want and when we don’t have anything that matches a user’s preferences, they don’t get anything.

IF
Can you give us an example of some good recent fares found on Flight Fishing?
Haskell
I’m Orlando-based so I’ll pick out a few I like near me from the past few weeks: Sanford (Near Orlando) to London Gatwick for $365, Orlando to Seattle for $187, Orlando to Panama City for $318.

IF
If Flight Fishing wins the Launchpoint competition, how would you spend the $50,000 prize?
Haskell
That’s the most important question! We have a tremendous amount of data flowing in from around the Internet and right now we rely on family, friends and a couple of awesome site users to help us figure out what dates each fare is available and when it expires. The prize would allow us to sign a contract with one of the big data providers and automatically pull in relevant information about each one of the deals we find. For example, instead of having a couple sample travel dates, we could provide a calendar of all available dates, seat availability, fare rules and fare class.

IF
Do you plan to launch other capabilities with the site?
Haskell
We’re always testing new ways to filter fares or change alerts but the big news is that we’re testing an extension for the Chrome browser called Fare Mojo that adds some really useful features to airline websites like the ability to filter by aircraft type and fare class as well as a price history from our database. We’re shooting for a Sept. 1 release date but people can sign up for early access at here.

IF
Do you have any plans for partnerships in the future that you can share with us?
Haskell
We’ve been working with some incredible people but we don’t have anything we can talk about yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *