Travel Adventure Roulette: Bargain Basement Prices with One Little Catch…

The Wall Street Journal reports that if you are traveling within Europe, there is an option for those looking for ultra low priced fares known as “blind bookings.” The tickets as low as $37 round trip come with one caveat: the airline chooses your destination and you only find out (to where) after your trip is booked. The parameters you are in control of are the dates, as well as an array of interests (culture, shopping, etc.), and then surprise! Find out where you are headed.

Who is Germanwings currently targeting?

For Germanwings, the cheap prices have been particularly popular with American expats and military families in Germany interested in seeing more of Europe. Jenny Crossen and her husband Bill, posted in Germany with the U.S. Army, heard about the fares from a co-worker. The couple has taken three blind-booking trips as a way to see more of Europe together. Ms. Crossen said the uncertainty was “kind of exciting while you wait for the big reveal.’’

And the article rightly questions whether such a service would work here in the States – as there are an awful lot of places that may not make for an exciting destination.

What I love about this story is how this all got started,

Blind bookings were conceived in 2007 by a university student who did a thesis on ways airlines could get more fliers without cannibalizing higher-fare ticket sales. Often when an airline launches a sale, business travelers take advantage of discounts. The student’s work included an internship at Germanwings, and his idea focused on student travel habits. “Students ask, Where could we go without paying much? They don’t care where they go, just choose,’’ said Oliver Scheid, head of revenue management and pricing at Germanwings.

This is business in the social era: customer experience, engagement, input and (indirectly) partnership with the organizations providing the product or service. See more here:

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