Space brokers, what is an empty seat worth to a FoRKer?

Philip DesAutels (
Mon, 23 Feb 1998 09:33:20 -0700
* But beginning next month,
( plans to let you decide how much
you're willing to pay for those empty seats. To the airlines,
filling a seat that would otherwise have gone empty, even for a
song, is "found money," so Priceline will broker your
(probably) ridiculously low fare offer to get you from place A
to place B on a given day. Of course the gotcha is that you
have to be very flexible -- there's no telling what flight the
airlines might assign, and it looks like you'll have to seal
your bid with your credit card number on a no-refund,
no-exchanges basis if they do accept your bid.

It will be fascinating to see how well this works; it holds the
potential of a win-win situation that could only, practically,
be intermediated by the Web. And my choice of the word
"intermediated" is intentional -- there has been a lot of
speculation that the Web will destroy the need for those
businesses that sit between consumers and businesses (such as
travel agents), and between businesses (specialized Electronic
Data Interchange, or EDI, carriers). Indeed while some of that
is occurring
Priceline is an excellent example of how new forms of
intermediation which specifically leverage the capabilities of
a global communications network, may thrive.

Philip A. DesAutels
Senior Principal Architect
MatchLogic. Inc. 303.665.4007