The new Air Ticket Arena app allows you to bid on available last-minute seats—within two weeks of departure—and a participating airline notifies you 24 to 48 hours in advance whether it accepts your bid. What's wrong with this news? It isn't available in North America yet; so far, the operators have signed up only seven airlines in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. But there's no reason the idea can't cross the Atlantic, either by the current operators or by a locally based copycat.

Bidding on Air Tickets Similar to Airhitch and Priceline Models

Travelers with long memories will recall that the Air Ticket Arena business plan really isn't new. It's very much the same value proposition that Robert Segelbaum offered airlines and travelers with his pre-computer "Airhitch" system starting way back in 1969. Airhitch never reached its full potential, and it and Seelbaum both died in 2009. Segelbaum was not the first travel innovator to be ahead of his time. It's also similar to Priceline's original airline system, which has also withered with air tickets as it has prospered with hotels. The key difference is whether Air Ticket Arena will identify the airline and schedule before you bid; a question Air Ticket Arena hasn't answered yet.

Since most new ideas in the travel business are bad ideas, we welcome any potentially good one. For more information—but not much more—you can check with Air Ticket Arena.

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