The Argentinian low-cost carrier Flybondi has become the first airline in the world to allow passengers to resell their tickets and, in the process, earn a cut of any profit made by selling the ticket for a higher price than it was originally sold for.
Similar to how concert ticket vendors like Ticketmaster have allowed resales for years, Flybondi has introduced a new platform from travel technology startup TravelX to introduce a similar concept for airline tickets.
The system works by creating an NFT ticket alongside the original ticket, which is stored on the blockchain. The two tickets are synchronized and have the same fare rules, seat numbers and itineraries, allowing Flybondi to trace the NFT ticket even as it is resold or transferred to someone else.
The technology currently allows resells up to 72 hours before departure, enabling both Flybondi and TravelX to earn a transaction fee whenever the ticket changes hands, aviation website Aviacion Al Dia reports.
Normally, airlines strictly forbid reselling tickets, but Flybondi CEO Mauricio Sana said resales had obvious advantages for both customers and the airline.
To demonstrate his point, Sana described a situation in which Flybondi might sell a ticket at a deep discount, only to then find that demand for flights suddenly goes up, and it could have sold the ticket for a much higher price.
At this point, the airline regrets selling the original ticket at such a low price, while the passenger holding the ticket realizes they could make money by putting it up for sale. Flybondi then recovers some of the ‘lost’ revenue while the passenger makes a profit on their unwanted ticket.
In other situations, passengers who have bought otherwise non-refundable tickets might be able to recoup some of their money back if they suddenly find that they are no longer able to take the flight they had booked.
TravelX is hopeful that the ability to resell airline tickets will become widely available, and the company says it is already in talks with 60 other airlines about its NFT ticket technology.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.