Fareportal CEO Sam Jain, 42, who emigrated to the U.S. from India in 1992 and is now a naturalized U.S. citizen, began focusing on the travel agency and air consolidation business with FareBuzz in 1994. Nearly 10 years later, in 2003, he launched Fareportal, which then debuted CheapOAir Coupons in 2006 as its consumer-facing airline booking website.
CheapOAir caters to the budget-conscious travelers, and the supplier relations and product teams are different from Fareportal. So we have a friendly competition going on between the two brands. The CheapOAir Coupons brand has special deals related to wholesale fares that we can market through our contact centers or through fare alerts or user profiles. So airlines will come to us and offer us tactical special deals through CheapOAir.
Most online travel businesses are trying to diversify away from the flight business as fast as they can, treating airline tickets almost as a loss leader. In fact, even flight-shopping site Skyscanner recently acquired a hotel-search business.Then there’s New York City-based CheapOair, and founder and CEO Sam Jain, who wants to do for flights.Jain outlined CheapOair’s strategy and ambitions exclusively to Skift in one of the few press interviews he’s given since CheapOair was founded in 2005.
Fareportal supports a portfolio of brands which include CheapOair and OneTravel. All these sites provide easy travel arrangements for online visitors CheapOAir Coupons, launched in 2005 as a beta version, quickly gained traction on the web. Flights remain the greatest strength and primary focus of the website, and the online booking tool simplifies travel plans by playing the role of travel agent.
CheapOair is the ninth largest online travel agency, so you may not have heard of it before. What makes it stand out from the crowd?CheapOair‘s hotel search page displays up to 500 hotel results on one page. Other Web agencies take money from hotels in exchange for listing them at the top of the search results. CheapOAir Coupons doesn’t, listing all the hotels available, which you can sort by price or star rating.
CheapOair also aims to streamline the payment process. It puts you through fewer screens than other online agencies to book a room. It also says it cuts deals with consolidators to offer lower prices than you can find elsewhere on some hotels. And like other Web agencies, it offers a money-back guarantee if you find a lower rate elsewhere.