Travellers can now bid for a seat on Canada’s newest discount airline.
NewLeaf announced a partnership with Calgary-based company Jump On Flyaways Tuesday, which would see unsold seats filled by the highest bidder.
“There’s a huge number of seats that fly empty every year, and it’s because airlines use fairly complicated revenue management techniques to maximize their seat revenue,” said Roger Jewitt, CEO of Jump On.
“Our model is…while (airlines are) busy filling up their seats the old-fashioned way, and doing their best at that, what we do is we collect bids on the potentially unsold seats,” he said.
Jump On opened its online portal for NewLeaf’s 11 routes on July 19.
The travel company’s destinations include Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Abbotsford, Hamilton, Halifax, Kamloops, Moncton, Kelowna and Victoria.
While passenger bids are sealed, they’re ranked publicly for people to see how they stack up.
“The airlines consider the best bid, so if you’re the only one that bids and you bid a dollar, maybe they take it,” Jewitt said.
All reasonable bids are then presented to the travel company. The offers can be placed anytime, but no later than 48 hours before the flight’s departure.
Once a bid is accepted, the passenger’s credit card is charged and a ticket is issued by NewLeaf two days before take-off.
“We think it’s perfect for visiting friends and relatives,” Jewitt said. “(If) it really doesn’t matter when you go, you can bid that lower amount and take a seat if you get it.”
Jewitt said the key thing to remember is placing a bid does not guarantee a seat.
NewLeaf is the first airline to partner with Jump On to offer seat bidding.