The Scoop: For years, Scott Keyes was just a guy who knew how to spot great airline deals, but as more people asked him how they could find affordable flights, he decided to help them by starting Scott’s Cheap Flights. The platform helps individuals, couples, and families embark on getaways while saving enough money to have fun when they get there. Scott’s Cheap Flights isn’t a typical flight search engine either — it alerts members to deep discounts on popular flights that rarely stick around for long.
Scott Keyes didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur, but his knack for finding deep discounts on airline tickets led him down the path to starting his own company. Initially, he just wanted to make his travels more affordable, but the money he was saving starting attracting attention.
“I found an odd enjoyment in searching for cheap flights, and, when I found so many cheap flights, people would ask me, ‘How’d you do that?’” he told us.
Word quickly spread about his ability to find incredible flight deals, and so many people were interested that Scott decided to start a newsletter to share his expertise. That newsletter quickly evolved into his own online platform — aptly named Scott’s Cheap Flights.
“That’s how things launched. It was the simplest way to let a couple of dozen friends know when I found a good deal,” he said.
Scott intuitively understands the parameters for searching for those out-of-the-ordinary deals, as well as how little time travelers may have to snatch them up. That information can be especially helpful to couples looking to book tickets for a romantic getaway.
According to Scott, most great deals only stick around for a few hours before they’re gone, and six hours is a good rule of thumb to remember for securing a deal that seems too good to be true.
“I got good at it, and knew when to look, and how to recognize patterns,” he said.
Scott found his most epic deal in 2013 when he booked an unbelievable trip: a round-trip flight from New York to Milan for just $130. Now, individuals, couples, and families flock to Scott’s Cheap Flights to spot deals and travel more affordably.
Deals Encourage Users to Travel More Often
After a few years of sending out his regular newsletter, Scott knew that it was time for him to turn his hobby into a business. And when Scott’s Cheap Flights launched in 2015, business began to boom.
But Scott isn’t surprised that his platform became so successful. After all, we’re living in what he calls “the golden age of cheap flights,” meaning that airlines offer plenty of deals — if you know where to look. And Scott’s Cheap Flights knows the ins and outs of those discounts.
His team has grown, as well, and Scott now has 40 employees working around the world who are passionate about helping users travel more often.
“We believe travel isn’t just for rich people or those living in the biggest cities. Everybody should be able to travel,” he said.
That belief is echoed by a 2019 survey about New Year’s Resolutions in which 24% of respondents said they wanted to travel more. However, many of them never followed through because of the high cost of traveling.
“Everybody wants to travel more than they actually do,” Scott said. “The reason they don’t travel comes down to cost — of flights and planning a trip.”
Scott’s Cheap Flights can erase some of those barriers by reducing the cost of airfare — which is one of the most significant expenses in travel. The company can help save travelers up to 90% on international flights for one low annual membership fee.
Memorable Getaways for Individuals, Couples, and Families
Scott’s Cheap Flights makes the signup process simple. First, users can choose the airports from which they would like to depart. Then, they’ll start receiving emails detailing the deals on flights that leave from those airports.
Along with those daily deals, the team tries to provide as much information as it can.
“We let our members know that there’s this awesome flight; we let you know the date and time, the airline, and its normal flight time,” Scott said.
If a member finds the deal attractive, Scott encourages them to book it right away or run the risk of losing out on the low fare. And Scott and his team aren’t using their connections with airlines to offer cheaper flights for customers. The company doesn’t receive anything from the airlines, no matter how many customers book through Scott’s Cheap Flights links.
“We’re just a group of folks who are obsessed with finding cheap flights. If you’re interested in taking advantage, you should. The better a deal is, the shorter it’s going to last,” Scott said.
Some of the deals that Scott’s Cheap Flights has found for its customers are remarkable. With so many flights available at all times of the day or night, airlines are always offering great deals. Couples who want to find those flights can be patient and wait for a $400 flight to Europe or $350 flight to Asia pop up.
Scott remembers one couple that took advantage of a great deal from Asia and booked flights for several family members from Taiwan to see their wedding in California.
“They thought it was too expensive to bring the family to California for their wedding. Then we found $350 flights from Taiwan, so they were able to bring uncles, grandparents, everybody,” Scott said.
For the Future, Scott is Developing Streamlined Searches for People to Find Dream Vacations
While Scott may not have set out to help people travel more, he’s satisfied with what he’s built and that he gets to help them every day.
“It’s completely gratifying to know that you played a small part in helping people take a trip they may not have been able to otherwise,” he told us.
Scott is venturing into new territory in 2019: One goal is to personalize his emails further to offer users more relevant destinations and times.
“We want to let folks choose a specific place and the specific time of year that they want to go,” he said. “We want to build systems and products that help people get alerted to just what they’re interested in and not what they’re not interested in.”
While that customization feature is in development, Scott remains enthusiastic about how he and his team are making travel more feasible for individuals, couples, and families who want to add adventure to their lives.
“Everyone here is motivated by a passion for helping others and travel. We thrive in that mentality of making it possible for people to see the world,” Scott said.