Interview with Grant Kim of Qixo by Bob Barnes-Watts

22nd Mar 2001

Bob- Last September, it was my pleasure to have a chat to Grant Kim of QIXO and here he is in Los Angeles. Thanks for joining me. OK so what has happened to QIXO, the comparison-shopping site since we last spoke in September?
Grant Kim -Well we launched our site in September shortly before the Atlanta conference and since then we have come a long way. We have introduced a booking interface where users can not only compare fares from different sites but can actually book with any of the Web sites that are included in our comparison engine. Our user base has continued to grow steadily and everything is looking very positive for us.
Bob- I have checked QIXO a few times and I have found occasionally that I will go and check the other sites that the QIXO engine looks at and I will find a different fare, maybe lower, maybe higher. Do you think that some of the sites that allow you to book or allow you to keep some of the fares to themselves and don’t actually allow it to other outsiders?
Grant Kim - That is actually technically absolutely impossible because QIXO logs into other sites just like any other user would. The reason you see different fares sometimes is because you know if you do a search in QIXO and you go into another site a minute later, often times the availability may change or it is if you look for the same flight itinerary on the same travel site you will see different fares depending on what time of the day you go in there.
Bob- OK so you don’t think it is at all possible that maybe some of the sites will keep fares under the counter so to speak?
Grant Kim- Under the counter, you mean when it is available on the site to any user who logs on to their site
Bob- I was just wondering, as I did find a couple of differing quotes, but, as you say, it could be because it could change from second to second.
Grant Kim- Exactly
Bob- How many sites do you search now on QIXO?
Grant Kim Well right now our system has 20 sites that are searched for any given itinerary. We do not always search all 20 depending on the particular departure and arrival cities. We may search only 10 or 15 sites which are most relevant to that route.
Bob- Yes for instance if I am looking for a Europe departure you are not going to search an Asian site for me.
Grant Kim Right, exactly.
Bob- Which seems fair enough. So, onwards and upwards for QIXO and I wish you the very best of luck!
Grant Kim Thank you very much.


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