A new tool uses legal loopholes to get you cheaper flights by checking prices 17,000 times a day
- A new service hopes to save users hundreds of dollars on plane tickets by automatically exploiting legal loopholes.
- Robot legal service DoNotPay attempts to rebook and get partial refunds on flights if their prices drop.
- It's free to use, and users get to keep 100% of their savings.
A new service is trying to exploit legal loopholes to get people cheaper plane tickets - by automatically checking flight prices 17,000 times a day.
DoNotPay, an automated legal tool, is branching out into helping users book airline tickets, it announced on Monday. Its services have previously helped overturn hundreds of thousands of users' parking tickets, and assisted people affected by the Equifax data breach in suing the firm. It also works in 1,000 other areas of law.
The new service will monitor the price of tickets for flights that its users have purchased, and then automatically try to take advantage of legal loopholes to get users partial refunds when the prices drop. For example: If you're flying from New York to San Francisco and the ticket drops from $400 to $300 after you book it, DoNotPay will try to get you a $100 refund.
"In the US (unlike Europe unfortunately), there are about 70 different loopholes that will make even the most non-refundable ticket refundable," DoNotPay founder Josh Browder wrote to Business Insider in an email.
"For example, if bad weather is predicted for your flight, the schedule changes, the airlines contract with you required them to open it up. Similarly, every single flight can be refunded before 24 hours [after it's booked]. Since airline prices change so often, it's highly unlikely you got in at the bottom, so when it drops, it automatically applies one of these many rules to your ticket and switches you to the cheaper ticket in the same fare class."
In private tests with a few hundred users, Browder said, 68% of flights saw a price decline - by an average of $140 each. The largest savings on a plane ticket that DoNotPay has seen to date was $650.
Originally from the UK, Browder is currently a student at Stanford University in California, and his startup has raised $1.1 million in funding from venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz.
DoNotPay's services are currently free to use, and it won't take any cut from the money it saves users on flights.
"As with everything before it, I'm not looking to make money with this specific service," the entrepreneur wrote. "I am just trying to build a great product and one day, expand this product to insurance, healthcare and retail, where there may be an opportunity to make it sustainable. "