2015 was a whirlwind year for Yore Oyster. Our first full year in operations after launching in September 2014, we hit the ground running, determined to help people around the world discover the joys of travel while saving time and money.
As the founder, it's my role to keep a high-level view of the company to ensure we've moving in the right direction, but it's equally important that I look back and review where we've been. What follows is a full-company recap of the year that was 2015, and we'll also look ahead to see what's coming for 2016.
For simplicity, I've broken Yore Oyster into our 3 main business lines: our flight hacking concierge service, our flights blog, and our wanderlust publication How I Travel.
The concierge service is simple: travelers get in touch with us, and we save them money on their flights. And while most of our clients just want to save money, and that's great, we also work with some clients whose needs are more complex: stopovers in specific cities, only flying with particular airlines, very strict timing requirements, etc. While we can normally meet these requirements, they almost always make the flight more expensive, which brings us to the cardinal rule of flights: the more flexible you are, the more you'll save.
That doesn't mean you need to make sacrifices in order to get a good flight. Take
And we worked with a lot more people like
Total client savings, 2015
Average savings per passenger, 2015
I want to highlight a few of our client experiences because they do a good job of representing our three most common requests:
These three client stories - intercontinental flights, inflexible dates, and complex vacations - are the three types of flights that we work on most often. That doesn't mean that we can't help you save money on domestic flights or highly flexible flights, but you can often help yourself with resources like our
It wasn't all sunshine in 2015 - we ran into some hiccups as well. Here they are:
The biggest lesson we learned here is, Regardless of a problem's source, always make things right. Despite the fact that these were mistakes made by the airlines, each of these three clients were pushed well outside of their comfort zone and needed to know that they had a voice and would be taken care of, alms that airlines are notoriously bad at offering. Our priority is always to ensure that the client is happy and safe at their destination, and any follow-up with airlines can be handled after the immediate issues are taken care of.
We were very busy with concierge requests in 2015, but we still found the time to write a few blog posts. One of them in particular,
We also had a lot of people asking us to do similarly transparent, how-to posts for other regions, so we're currently working on a similar post for flights to
On top of that, one of the questions we consistently faced in 2015 goes something like this:
"What's the best way to buy my flights? If I'm flying within North America, should I pay for my flights with cash, or should I use a loyalty program? If I use a program, which one should I use, and what's the best way to use it? What if I'm flying from Europe to Australia? Or South America to Asia?"
None of those are easy questions to answer, but once you've looked at as many thousands of flights as we have, some very distinct patterns start to emerge. To make our findings public, we're going to publish a tool that will answer that exact "How should I buy my flights?" question for you. Look for that in the next 60-90 days.
Still, the most-read piece of text on our site is our
2015 was a remarkable year, but our focus is strictly ahead now. We'll be helping thousands of people to fly better in 2016 - it'd make our day if you were one of them.