Did you ever want to fly someplace and find it too expensive? Do you have kids that you don’t want to pay standard airline prices for? Are you looking to get away for the weekend last minute but the tickets are $3000? Me too.
At my company, Tripstack.com, we work to democratize air travel. By that, I mean we look for ways to create great fares without prohibitive travel restrictions or time delays. I’m sure most of you have flown by now and are aware of how expensive it can be if you don’t plan far in advance.
“Interlining” is a concept that has been around for a while, in which multiple flights are combined to get a person to their destination, and in some cases with travelers transfer themselves (and sometimes their baggage) from flight to flight – in order to travel at a lower cost. Some airlines support interlining with partner airlines and even occasionally offering competitive joint fares to book across two different carriers. “Occasional” is the key word here. It’s not a common practice. For other airlines, Interlining is not a thing. The airlines don’t like it and they prefer that you only fly them. So don’t even ask.
Many times, there is cost savings can come from finding 2 or 3 flight deals that you can combine to get you to your final destination. It can take a bit of work, timing and lots of luck, but it’s possible to find great flights at low costs if one puts in the time. Even then, you want that normally 8-hour flight to not be 25 hours long to save some money.
Your best bet is to find an online travel agency that offers it — and it’s likely that the flight schedules and fares come from us.
This is the concept of “Virtual Interlining”, or VI. This is one of the things that our company creates for the travel world.
Let’s say you want to fly from Seattle,WA to Paris, France. How would you do that? Well, Air France (AF) and Delta (DL) both offer non-stop flights in both directions. But it comes with a cost. At the time of this writing, the ticket price is $1300 traveling on June 8 — and that’s the cheapest. But you have options. You can get crafty. You can book a flight on Alaskan Airlines for $278 into JFK. Then you can find a flight from JFK to Paris on Norwegian Air for $480. This is $758, which is almost half of your non-stop. You can find other options through Iceland, Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, or countless other airports. You can even bounce through multiple airports for even cheaper flights, and in some cases without the trip getting much longer. It can be a lot of work to do this and there’s a bit of nuance to get it right.
You can’t pay me enough to want to spend 30 hours on a plane with my children.
At Tripstack, we build the technology to find the best VI fares. And one place you can try out our stuff is on FLightNetwork.com.
Go ahead: Visit FlightNetwork.Com and search for SEA (Seattle) to CDG (Paris) on June 8, 2019. At the time of this writing, you can find a Virtual Interline fare of $655 CAD (which is around 500 USD). That’s pretty amazing! And it’s powered by Tripstack.com!
(you might ask why the example further up has a price of $758…I did the research first on a competitor’s site).
At Tripstack, we automate this process. We build systems to find ridiculously low-cost flights that aren’t excruciatingly long. In some cases, the really long flights are the cheapest, but again, its about balance. How much would you need to get paid to have a baby crying in your ear for 12 hours?
Some people like the challenge of getting from A to B for as little as possible, such as travel hackers. Others are booking in the immediate future and find many of the larger non-stop flights have gotten expensive. For me, having 2 children, flying can get very expensive. You can’t put them in the overhead and you can’t check them, so it makes taking a vacation challenging for many families like mine. So VI offers us a way to move a lot of people for not a lot of money, but also allows us to find combinations that are relatively short in duration. You can’t pay me enough to want to spend 30 hours on a plane with my children.
At Tripstack, we continue to improve our VI offerings and low pricing. We’re launching our new version soon to give people even lower prices and more travel options. Can’t wait to get on my flights to Fiji!
Want to help bring low prices airline travel to the masses? Join our engineering team. We’d love to hear from you. We use Go, Postgres, Scylla, Redis, Kafka, dotNet, and smatterings of Java. We build SOLID well-tested code that scales. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
Looking for great VI fares? Check out FlightNetwork.com, one of our many customers.