A new startup SteadyFare wants to let people lock in flight prices without having to book well in advance by selling something similar to a financial call option.
Their service is interesting to anyone who is price conscious but may not want to finalise flights too far in advance. They are addressing the problem that is one must either buy airfare really early in advance when plans may change or really late when it's very expensive.
With Steadyfare, users choose when they would like to travel and buy the "option" which locks in the fare price. Later the users can decide whether or not to book the flight as planned.
Currently, travelers can search for flights booked from NYC, Los Angeles and San Francisco to a variety of international destinations. They also can't see the exact flight times, number of connections or the airline they'll be flying with until the book the ticket. However, the company says those options are coming.
The main benefit of this is unlike when buying flight insurance or a refundable ticket, users don’t have to pay for the full ticket price up front. This seems like a useful service for a niche market. On a UI note, the flight flexibility sliders are confusing and difficult to use.
SteadyFare is part of Dubai-based accelerator program SeedStartup.