Interview with Mathias Friess: CEO of Webjet

Plane Webjet CEO

I recently sat down with Mathias Friess, the CEO of Webjet—a new company that has made its way from Australia over to the United States. Webjet has taken the idea of buying a plane ticket to a new level by allowing customers to buy their tickets in payments rather than all at once. I thought I would ask him a few questions on what exactly Webjet hopes to accomplish in the United States and how this might benefit Generation-Y travelers.

Friess has an impressive background. As the Head of Sales for American Airlines and Lufthansa, he has worked to move Webjet from Australia to the United States. Friess noticed that many customers were willing and able to travel, but they might not necessarily be able to afford the initial cost of a large plane ticket upfront.

Webjet is for a global citizen, someone young. Younger people are much more likely to have a passport than any other generation. Webjet can work for college students or those on a gap year from the ages of eighteen to twenty-five who are looking to experience travel outside of the United States,”

Friess says.

Webjet CEO Book

It also offers young people to prioritize whether or not cost is more important than convenience—something that other airline companies tend to assume would not be important to customers. As a Generation-Y traveler, I have chosen to spend more time in an airport in order to keep costs down. In some ways, it has allowed me to see other cities I would not have because I’ve had time to explore. Friess agrees, mentioning that Webjet “lets the customer decide” whether or not this is beneficial price-wise from him or her.

So how does Webjet work? Friess broke down it down to the basics for me.

Almost every other large purchase, you can make in installments. Whether it is a mattress or a car, you can make payments rather than the full amount. Why shouldn’t it be the same for airplane tickets?”

As a Generation-Y traveler, I could see how this could be greatly beneficial to those looking to study abroad but who find themselves struggling with being able to pay the full price of the ticket. As Friess mentions, those customers should not have to miss out on the experience of travel. I agree, though I wonder whether students will be willing to forgo their time abroad because they already have student loans and debt.

What do you think? Is this a service you would use?

*I have received no compensation or benefits for this post.*

Keep wandering,

Alex Signature Wander

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