Kansas City-based Vanguard Airlines has launched the online product SkyBid, where customers with flexible travel plans may name their own price for Vanguard flights online at their Web site.
With SkyBid, customers can bid on flights between two and 21 days before departure. Bids are accepted on based on a combination of factors that include bid price, overall passenger demand and the date and time of travel. Vanguard Airlines permits customers to submit time preferences for travel (morning, afternoon, evening or anytime). The greater the range of time provided, the better the chance of having the bid accepted. Vanguard will contact the customer via e-mail within 24 hours as to whether the bid was accepted or denied. Once the bid is accepted the customer`s credit card will be charged.
SkyBid fares are nonrefundable, non-changeable and nontransferable. Northwest Airlines recently started an online auction for tickets between specified city pairs and vacations.
Meanwhile, Vanguard filed an application for $60 million in federal loan guarantee assistance under the Air Transportation System and Stabilization Act. Vanguard is seeking the federal guarantee as part of a restructuring program that would provide the Company a total of $80 million of capital. The restructuring program—which is being discussed with investors, lessors and creditors—includes a federally guaranteed loan, new capital from investors in exchange for a significant equity stake in the Company and concessions from aircraft lessors and vendors.
The $60 million loan would be provided, subject to receipt of the federal guarantee, by Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (WestLB).