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Travelers’ opinion: Will “What The Flight” be the next TripAdvisor for airline companies?

8769 opinions of travelers on 318 plane companies.


Displaying the opinions of travelers in a flight comparator: this is the idea of the website What The Flight, launched by a former engineer. An intuitive interface that seduces a community of travelers eager to get objective and recent information on airline companies. The platform hopes to become a reference website in the sector.



Florian David, founder of the opinion website What The Flight hopes to become the TripAdvisor of airline companies. DR
Florian David, founder of the opinion website What The Flight hopes to become the TripAdvisor of airline companies. DR
Becoming the next TripAdvisor of airline companies: this is the ambition of Florian David, the founder of the website What The Flight.

More than a simple comparator, this website lists close to 8769 opinions of travelers on 318 airline companies.

These opinions are validated manually and their authenticity is checked regularly.

“When we have a doubt, around 3 times out of 10, we ask for proof of travel” explains the founder.

What began as a student project created in 2005 has been growing more and more every year. For two years now, Florian David dedicates 100% of his time to it, helped by co-founder Benjamin Antoine, a former flight crew personnel, who handles the social management.

Thanks to his technical knowledge inherited from his engineering past, Florian David, created an intuitive website that naturally appears in the first results on Google.

He is also in connection with airline companies, that are informed for free when they receive advice on their flight. They can thus respond to criticisms or thank their satisfied customers.

“We act as a trust intermediary between the company and its users.”

The users know the website through word mouth and on social networks, where What The Flight is very active, especially on Twitter.

Each month between 400 and 600 additional opinions are uploaded and that number should double by the end of the year.

Enough to give new and objective information to clients who are looking for a flight on the comparator.

“We have noticed that the price isn’t the only criteria for a decision. Some won’t hesitate spending an extra 20 euros to fly Air France over a low-cost company” assures Florian David.

An English version: first step toward internationalization.

Its business model is simple: it makes money thanks to the affiliate links put in the comparator sites and the opinions posted. Which allowed him to accumulate a revenue of 36,000 euros in 2013.

And contrarily to other tourism companies, no investor has yet put his hands on it. “I prefer taking my time to maintain the control of the development and conserve the human aspect of my company.”

His independence allows him to not deal with the competition, such as Vol 24 or Flight Report.

“I don’t look at other websites. The only thing that matters is improving my users’ experience.”

And he is now looking abroad. To internationalize his company, he changed his former name (Listnoire.org) to open a website in England.

“While automatic translation is available on the French site, I don’t want it to become systematic. I’d rather have another English website that could work on Canadian and American markets.”

This British version already offers 900 opinions in eight months, but will be confronted to much tougher competition in France.

Written by Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher the 26/07/2014
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