CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Freebird, Inc., a company dedicated to empowering travelers, today announced the launch of its namesake product, which enables travelers to skip the line and instantly book a new ticket – on any airline at no additional cost – in the event of a flight cancellation, four-hour delay, or missed connection. The mobile tool provides travelers with instant notifications in the event of a flight disruption, and offers them the ability to rebook in less than 30 seconds with only three taps on their mobile device. Ahead of the launch, the Cambridge-based company secured $3.5M in funding from General Catalyst, Accomplice, Slow Ventures, and strategic angel investors.
“We all travel for important reasons – especially during the holiday season,” said Ethan Bernstein, co-founder and CEO of Freebird. “Yet when a flight disruption occurs, the rebooking process can leave us feeling helpless and frustrated. Freebird enables travelers to skip the line and choose a new ticket on any airline, book it for free, and ultimately get to the people and places that matter most. Our mission at Freebird is to empower business and leisure travelers year-round, during the holiday season, through winter, and beyond.”
The Freebird launch comes just ahead of the Thanksgiving travel rush – when approximately 3.5 percent of Americans take flights – as well as the busiest travel day of the year, which occurs the Sunday after Thanksgiving. On average, 250,000 travelers experience a flight cancellation each Thanksgiving holiday and 3 million travelers are delayed by more than 30 minutes, according to a Freebird analysis. As a result of flight cancellations and delays, US travelers are expected to lose 6 million hours during Thanksgiving travel this year.
Freebird’s analysis of Thanksgiving travel, covering the Friday before the holiday until the Monday afterwards, further reveals that:
- The Monday before Thanksgiving is the worst day for cancellations, while the day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday) is the worst for significant delays;
- The worst hour of the day for both flight cancellations and significant delays is 6AM - 7AM;
- The worst travel disruption this decade occurred at Dallas/Fort Worth in 2013 when 473 flights were cancelled on the Sunday and Monday before Thanksgiving, representing approximately 30% of flights;
- The destination with the most Thanksgiving flight arrival delays is Chicago’s O’Hare, with an average of 16.5 million minutes of lost traveler time per holiday due to late arrivals.
Travelers can purchase Freebird via www.getfreebird.com at any time after their itinerary is confirmed, up until approximately two days prior to departure. Currently offered for domestic US flights only, Freebird is available for a flat-fee of $19 for a one-way flight or $34 for a roundtrip flight during its winter travel and launch promotion. Following the promotion, Freebird fees will vary flight-by-flight, based on factors such as likelihood of a disruption, and will typically cost less than $30 for a one-way flight. Prices are determined by Freebird’s proprietary algorithm that predicts the risk of flight disruptions for millions of flights per year.
For more information on Freebird’s mission to empower travelers or to learn about how Freebird works, visit www.getfreebird.com.
Freebird empowers travelers to skip the line and instantly rebook their trip – on any airline at no additional cost – in the event of a flight cancellation, significant delay, or missed connection. For more information, visit www.getfreebird.com.