Good at Travel Hacking? Why not doing it for a living?

I saw Scott Mackenzie's post earlier today which sounded like an interesting proposition. If you're very good at searching for flight…I mean REALLY good, you can apply for a full time job at Flight Fox.

Flightfoxlogo

I'm not in any way linked to Flight Fox and had never heard of them until today. But looking at their website, it seems a good blend between a travel agent and an award booking service. Their emphasis is clearly on working out cheapest revenue tickets, and charging an upfront fee if you take their advice.

The job title is “Analytical Flight Hacker” (which sounds a little ominous if you work in aviation security) and the deadline to apply is Friday 11th April 2014.

The application comes in two parts. The first is tricky. In fact, I'll write it in its verbatim, abbreviated glory taken from the job page. I'll go by the assumption that if you don't know what it means then you shouldn't apply for the job!

SYD – CNX – TXL – YUL in Y unless you can pull out a great price in J. All travel within September and carry-on only. You must describe what you did to find a cheaper price than a typical search on ITA or Kayak.

You are expected to use every trick you can think of. Throwaway ticketing, MPM surcharges, Proactive Online Upgrading (if using British Airways), arbitrage, married cities, fuel dump, ANYTHING!

The second part requires some questions:

  • Describe your flight specialties, especially the strategies that make you more competent than other flight experts.
  • Describe the single project you would consider your most significant accomplishment in life or work to date.
  • Identify three products from our product page you could help with the most.

The job does have its rewards though, you get to move to Montreal, Canada and then switch offices every now and then, which sounds absolutely amazing.

The successful applicant will be booked on a one-way ticket to Montréal for an intense 3-month training period, and will then travel and work with the team from a different location every 3 – 6 months. Locations are discussed and debated within the team, with Montréal as our base HQ and Sydney, San Francisco, León and Berlin as previous ‘remote office’ locations.

Side note: That's León in Nicaragua by the way. I happened to go there just a couple of months ago and really liked it. If you're up for it, you should try their local delicacy…iguana soup. The Girl And Globe happened to go there just a week before me and did the same excursion.

This sounds like a genuinely interesting job application which would suit a typical reader of my blog. In fact I fancy tackling the first challenge regardless of applying for a job! I'd probably wait until the job application window closes before considering to put up my answer in case it screws things up for them.

Like I say, I knew nothing about FlightFox until today so though I am trying to be impartial and independent, you should do your own homework if you are seriously wanting to apply. Good luck if you do!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I didn’t realize you also went to Nicaragua (maybe I’ve been living under a rock…). Hope you had a fabulous time!

  2. DO not trust them, they fired hundreds of their most loyal experts without a day notice, just by sending a lame email, so yeah i wouldn’t trust them to go to montreal and start working with them…

  3. Hi @miguel, your statement is false. Flightfox did not ‘fire’ any expert as the experts were not employed, but were participants in a crowd-sourced commission based model. We gave 1 weeks notice to the original experts who were active on FF version 1. In addition, we have continually moved the top experts from version 1 over to the new platform, whilst remaining in email contact with hundreds of our former experts.

  4. and more lies she tells, no way she gave 1 week notice, she gave 1 day notice, and even if we weren’t official employers just freelancers we were full time working for flightfox and one day they just decide to let go almost all the experts and just keep 5, very shady, so again do not trust them, they are VERY unprofessional

    • Hi Miguel!

      THX for your post…i was about to apply forthe job..but if the things are like that..they can find the flights by themselves

  5. I must agree with miguel,
    flightfox is the worst employer ever. They didnt give a single notice, suddenly everyone wasnt able to login anymore. Of course nobody was under official contract, however you still have responsibility to your “employees”.
    From an inside source Ive heard the same stuff is happening now to their small team. They fire everyone without any real notice and hire cheap labour if they are willing to move to Montreal.

    They might be nice people, but worst employers ever.

    • Hi All, Todd from Flightfox here. I’d like to clear up a couple of misconceptions.

      We did not fire anyone from the previous system. The previous system was an open platform that anyone could use, but it simply failed. We felt close to the experts, much closer than you’d expect from being an open platform, but that wasn’t enough to keep a broken dream alive. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and worked 7 days/week to keep it going, but again, it just failed.

      I understand Miquel’s and Chris’s sentiments, but when you run a business and things don’t work, either change or collapse is inevitable. We chose change. So after that system failed, we started work on building an entirely new system. We launched that system, and wow, it worked so much better. Revenue grew, team morale grew, and most importantly, customer satisfaction skyrocketed.

      We went back to our top previous experts and said we’d had a breakthrough and money was flowing much better than before. They all decided to join us and they made more money than ever. Now that we’re so certain of the current model, it’s time for us to grow our internal team.

      The guys above said we were nice people (thanks), but I think they take exception to our previous rate of change. I wish we didn’t have to change either, but being first to market with a new idea is never as simple as it seems. Now that things are working, the rate of change has slowed (just a little) and our focus is turning to growth.

      If you’re interested in this role, please get in touch and let’s chat. We pay well, we’re a lot of fun, but we’re also a highly ambitious and enthusiastic team. Keep in mind, this role we’re offering isn’t anything like our previous open platform. This is a proper offer of employment in our inner circle. It’s an exciting time for our unique business, and we have big plans to even help you see more the world.

      Best.

  6. What is the difference between an “analytical” flight hacker and a non-analytical one. Is the latter just guessing, or using brute-force to find a 3x that works in ITA?

  7. Todd,

    you wrote:

    “customer satisfaction skyrocketed”

    i booked once w flightfox..and i was really satisfied..i even enjoyed to see all that offers to come in..

    • Yes, it certainly worked well in many cases, but it wasn’t consistent enough. Crowdsourcing the results meant no single expert had accountability for the customer. Keep in mind, a contest looks to find the best result, but it completely ignores service. We’ve learned service is just as important. So we needed a big team internally to handle all the service problems. This was a bandaid fix for a broken model.

      The new model instantly resolved these issues. It caused other issues, but structurally the new model worked so much better overnight. Double the number of customers rate us 10/10. It feels much better too. While crowdsourcing is nice in theory, we now know that collaboration is more efficient and consulting produces much better service. Our current model combines the two.

  8. Do not trust them, they treat people like shit.

    100% true: They fired hundreds of their most loyal experts without a day notice.

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