Jan 10 2011
Note- This site has been revised significantly since this review was written. We keep the review here as a tribute to the entrepreneurial journey, but have changed the name per their request to avoid confusion.
Today I’d like to talk about the “Air Travel Expense Death Spiral” (ATEDS.) It works like this: you, say, book a Christmas flight, take the trip, and come back home. Almost immediately, you have to think about your next trip. You realize you should book it ASAP, because, in theory, it’ll be cheaper. But the thought of another $350 hitting your credit card account with a giant thud is too much to bear. So you wait.
You know what happens next. Prices go up. Last-minute, you buy a ticket, and this time it’s $425, and it hits your credit card with a heavier thud than the other thud you were fearing. You should have booked sooner, but you didn’t have the cash. Dude, you are trapped in the Air Travel Expense Death Spiral (ATEDS.)
Fortuitously, there is a rope dangling from the sky to help you escape this punishing swirling vortex, and it’s called Tripisaly.
Tripisaly takes the pain away of that one-time mega-charge that would normally hit your bank account. Here’s how it works: It buys your tickets for you, and, over time, you pay them back in monthly payments. Consider it a travel loan. These monthly payments, therefore, also include their commission – a tremendously reasonable 5% of the ticket price. Better yet, if the ticket is paid off earlier, the 5% commission fee is waived. The initial service fee is $99 to get things rolling.
That, in essence, is their value proposition, and it’s compelling. The home page asks visitors to enter a quote for an upcoming flight. I entered $319, which seems like the aggregate amount I normally pay. I was subsequently told that Tripisaly would buy the ticket for me, and I’d owe them $27 a month. Pretty cool.
And, I mean, think about the extra charges that can be thus avoided by going with Tripisaly:
1. The obvious risk of a flight fare going up. It happens!
2. Credit card interest incurred by dropping, say, $400 at once.
3. Opportunity-costs. Lord knows I’ve spent hours checking for flights across multiple days. It can add up. Think about all the other awesome things I could be doing.
So it’s simple: if you like what you see, you simply book a flight through Tripisaly and they’ll pick up the tab. They use a nifty Tripisaly frame to take care of the payment portion while booking. Just start from the Book A Flight page on their site and it will guide you from there.
Tripisaly provides additional travel services as well. You can book a flight, a cheap hotel, or car using their search engine. Most intriguing to me was their Travel Assistance service. With the proliferation of online booking, the idea of a travel agent is all but erased from our collective consciousnesses. But if last month’s East Coast winter storm was any indication, real, live humans are good to have around, especially if they’re acting on your behalf. You see, due to the inclement weather around Christmas, thousands of flights were delayed. Certain passengers, however, were never contacted, and rolled up to the airport, only to spend the next four days there, trapped, like savages out of “Lord of the Flies,” donning war paint, sacrificing small birds that got trapped in the terminal, and drafting tenuous peace treaties on dirty napkins.
Tripisaly’s Travel Assistance helps you avoid this dystopian post-apocalyptic netherworld. For $49.99 they monitor and alert you in the event of delays, book new flight(s) in the event of a cancellation, and keep you in the loop on airport changes, car rentals, and hotel accommodations. Consider them less of a travel agent, and more of a travel consultant.
So in addition to rescuing you from the “Air Travel Expense Death Spiral” (ATEDS), Tripisaly also spares you the misfortune of spending your holidays in oppressed squalor and despair. After all, as Mad Max taught us: it’s always fun to see a film about a post-apocalyptic netherworld. But it’s never fun to actually exist in one.