Sparrow’s First Birthday!

Written by David Shepherd on July 11, 2017 in

Sparrow launched in the app store exactly 1 year ago today.

We’re all feeling very proud of ourselves at Sparrow HQ, reminiscing over the past year and thinking of the future. We thought sharing some highlights from the past year would be a good way to celebrate it.

Sparrow launched on the app store on the 11th of July 2016 with Australia’s top 10 destinations and 2 carriers. For those who were there when it first began, below is the first design. It wasn’t long before it was updated, with the addition of flexi fares few days later.

A lot changes in a year

Since then:

  • We’ve organised travel for over 600 passengers to 5 continents
  • Had 492 conversation with our customers via the concierge
  • Had 82 business or alternative profiles created
  • Added international routes, with 13 different airlines
  • Changed 43 flights
  • Booked 42 hotel rooms in 6 countries
  • Reserved 5 hire cars – 2 being Mustangs
  • Featured on SBS’ Small Business Secrets!
  • Maintained 5/5 stars on the app store – if you haven’t rated us yet, please click here.

Sparrow customers have flown all over the world:

​Who wants to go to South America and Antarctica?

We’ve also:

  • Redesigned the website 3 times
  • Reskinned the App once
  • Changed the logo and the brand colours

Soon to be implemented features:

  • Simple addition of passengers. We’ve reworked the whole flow. Live in a few days.
  • Australia’s best business hotels soon to be available inside Sparrow.
  • ANDROID!! 95% complete and in testing, here is the Android destinations screen.

Thank you!

I wanted to also take this chance to thank everyone who has been on this ride with us. It’s been great fun, but we still have a long way to go.

It really means a lot that you’ve trusted a startup called Sparrow to take care of your travel needs.

Sparrow Flights v2.0!

Written by David Shepherd on January 12, 2017 in

The new version of Sparrow Flights is now live and available in the app store. There are so many changes to list. So if you don’t like reading, head to the app store and check it out yourself!

We had a simple recipe for the update:

  1. Put Sparrow Flight’s Vision in one large bowl
  2. Slowly add product roadmap
  3. Sprinkle in user feedback
  4. Add 1 Adrian & multiple developers
  5. Bring to boil
  6. Cook on high for 6 weeks
  7. Submit to Apple
  8. Sparrow Flights v2.0


So what’s the big deal? What’s changed?

Here is a quick summary of the changes:

  • Complete interface design lift, we believe the new interface looks great, and makes the whole experience even better!
  • Easier log in, with added intelligence around account creation and identification.
  • Simpler flight comparison screen to help find your perfect flight.
  • Access to the concierge straight from the comparison page.
  • Economy, Flex & Business class fares are now easier to switch between. Shoutout to Jamie & Mike.
  • Revamped the calendar, selecting dates is now more logical. And looks pretty sexy if I do say so myself.
  • Addition of profiles – Allows bookings for others, and multiple passengers. Create a personal profile for your family, create a business profile for your company or team.
  • Invite friends – send $10 get $10! We have mostly spread by word of mouth, so we want to reward people for doing that. When you invite a colleague, friend or family member to Sparrow flights, they will be given $10 credit, and when they fly, you’ll get the same.
  • Improved booking management & quick check in.

Here is a bit more detail for those who are interested

New destination page & images

Sparrow Destination Screen

New comparison screen

  • Easier selection of fare types (Economy, Flex, Business)
  • Clarity on number of seats left on each flight
Sparrow Flights Comparison Screen

New confirmation screen

  • You can now have multiple passengers. Book for yourself, book for others & book for multiple people!
  • Tap the little plus button to add people to the flight. They will be prompted to complete their profile.
  • To change the profile, just click the “Change” next to the company – simple!
Sparrow Flights Confirmation Screen

Introducing profiles

  • Select the people you want on the flight with a single tap.
  • Select multiple by just tapping them!
Sparrow Flights Profiles

Invite people to your profile

  • To invite someone to your profile, simply tap the “invite team members” and send via SMS, Mail or however you want to get in contact with them.
Sparrow Flights Invite Users

Excellent new booking screen with fun facts…

  • Travelling by air can shed up to 1.5 litres of water from the body during an average 3 hour flight. Good tip Adrian, I didn’t even know that. Drink up!
Sparrow Flights Booking Complete

New trip management screen

  • We’ve added some really easy shortcuts to help manage your trip.
  • Tapping “Manage” will take you to the Virgin or Qantas website to choose your seat etc.
  • Check In will activate when allowed to do so by the airlines, so again, it removes a few more steps from the process.
Sparrow Flights Trip Management


  • We love you guys, and love building products for you. We want more people like you to join us on the Sparrow journey. So we’ve added invite friends to Sparrow. You get $10 they get $10, pretty simple.
Share the Sparrow Love!

The next time you fly, buy a beer, coffee or maybe even a book with the money you save. ????

P.S. Don’t use the above code, it’s mine. I’m happy to fly around with discounts, but I’d prefer you have it!

Happy Flying!

Capt. David Shepherd

P.P.S. No flying lessons during Christmas, so might have to wait for next year…

What an incredible year! ????

Written by David Shepherd on December 21, 2016 in

Well.. That went… Really quickly.

Adrian and I just wanted to give a quick shout out to everyone for such an amazing year! Sparrow Flights has only been live for 5 months and what an incredible journey.

In 2016 we managed to:

  • Launch Sparrow
  • Build business profiles
  • Implement the concierge
  • Rebrand to the little black sparrow you see above (Thanks Dave for your input!)
  • Implement international flights (via the concierge)
  • Showed off Sparrow at StartCon
  • Sparrow was a finalist in StartCon’s “Best Mobile App Startup” Category
  • Featured as one of “Australia’s top 10 startups to watch” in AFR’s Techinvest magazine
  • Met some incredible people along the way.
  • And we had a great time doing it!

There are some game changing features in the works, unfortunately I can’t mention them all here.

Some things to look forward to next year:

  • New design! I know what you’re thinking, how can we improve further on what we already have? You’ll see…
  • Multiple passengers
  • Booking for others
  • Simpler filters (Improving further on your suggestions Jamie!)
  • Some really cool partnerships
  • A referral scheme
  • And more…

We really couldn’t have done this without you, thank you for all your support over the past year & really hope to see you again in 2017!

Also a MASSIVE thankyou to Andrew, who has been helping out a few days a week – you’re unreal mate!

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year!

Happy New Year!

Capt. David Shepherd
Co-Founder and official unofficial Captain.

New business profiles & now, cheaper flights!

Written by David Shepherd on November 8, 2016 in

Today is very exciting!

The business platform is ready for you and we are letting it run wild into the world…. No more beta on boarding!!

Download the update here!

We have released 2 new features you’ll love.

  1. Sparrow business profiles
  2. Cheaper flights! We’ve returned to $0 booking fee! We are now the same price as booking directly with the airlines, just 10x easier

Firstly, Sparrow Business Profiles

Why did we make this?

The whole travel system for SMEs is overly complex. If the following sounds like you, we made Sparrow for you:

  • I need to get the boss’s credit card every time I book, he’s never in the office, so it can take ages to get the card.
  • I have to send my receipts to Sarah, she’s always so slow at paying me back.
  • I’ll look at the prices on Webjet, but by the time I go to Qantas, the prices have changed… And Webjet is just too expensive.
  • I just send an email to my PA and she get’s everything done. Well… after we go back and forth for a few days confirming details.

Some people say:

“Yeah but, I already book flights… Why do I need Sparrow? This is my system…”

Not Sparrow Approval Process

This is Sparrow’s system…

With Sparrow Approval Process

Why should you care?

Ultimately, you’ve got better things to do with your time – like, anything other than booking flights…

Convinced? Downloading the latest version of the app, you will notice a link on the left hand navigation “Company”

Open Sparrow, select “Company” on the left hand navigation. The rest is extremely simple, just follow the instructions.

Sparrow Company Profiles

Need help? Reply to this email, we are always here for you guys!

Secondly, Sparrow is now the same price as booking directly with the airlines!

Previous to this update, Sparrow absorbed the credit card fee and took a little on top to help us make ends meet. You might have seen the $19 Sparrow Service, you wont see that anymore – so it’s cheaper for you.

Now, only the 1.3% credit card charge is passed on! Sparrow is now the same price as booking direct with the airlines. Just 10x easier, faster & well… Better looking – the design that is…

We save you money and time, the least you can do is share us around…. please ????

We are always looking for help, so if you can spend a tiny bit of time and share sparrow with other business owners, Adrian and I would be eternally grateful.

Here are some easy buttons to help share.

facebook-icon linkedin-icon twitter-icon

We’d also love you guys to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, so please join the community and help us change the travel industry ????

As always,
Capt. David Shepherd

P.S. Still not a real captain… Working on it… (not really)

StartCon teams up with Sparrow

Written by David Shepherd on August 22, 2016 in


StartCon is Australia’s largest event for entrepreneurs, startups, marketers, and growth & innovation teams. This year the conference is focusing around the death of the unicorns and the birth of the cockroach. A startup focused on weathering the storm, rather than being a 1 in a million super high growth company.

Last year the Sparrow team was inspired by many of the speakers, so this year we needed be involved. We’ve teamed up with StartCon to provide entrepreneurs the startup way to book flights – with a startup, of course!


Booking your flights is easy – simply tap on the StartCon tile to pre-fill your flight dates to Sydney, and join Sparrow at this awesome event.

Here’s some more information about StartCon:

Ben Sand, one of Sparrow’s advisors is also speaking and discussing his journey in the Startup world via Meta – his Augmented Reality company.

StartCon is hosted over 2 days in Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse:
Day 1 – November 26th – is focused on early-stage Startups looking to kickstart growth.
Day 2 – November 27th – is focused on high-growth startups looking to scale and grow faster.

They have managed an incredible speaker lineup including:

Andrew Chan – Growth @ Uber
Elena Verna – VP, Growth @ Survey Monkey
Nate Moch – VP, Product Teams & Growth @ Zillow
Sean Ellis – Founder @ GrowthHackers
Hiten Shah – Co-Founder @ Kissmetrics & Crazy Egg
The Wizard of Moz – Rand Fishken (Personally, with an SEO background, I’m a big fan of Rand) Founder & Former CEO @ Moz
Of course Ben Sand – Co-Founder @ Meta
And more! Seriously there are too many epic speakers to list.

To book your StartCon tickets via Sparrow, tap the “More Info” button in the app to be redirected to the StartCon site. And obviously, the easiest way to fly there is with Sparrow!

Adrian and I will have a stall on the day, so please come and say hi!

If you haven’t already downloaded Sparrow, now is a great time to do it 🙂

Download SparrowOr search “Sparrow Flights”

Flexible fares are now available

Written by Adrian Ciaschetti on July 19, 2016 in

Last week on launch day, we had this great piece of feedback from Jamie Skella:

Flexible fares

Well, after speaking with many of you and learning more about how you fly, we thought it was a fantastic idea and now flexible fares are available for economy flights. Simply open the filters when choosing your flights and toggle the flexible fares switch to show those fares in all their glory.


So, thank you Jamie and our current customers for bringing this to our attention. You can now enjoy booking your flexible flights through Sparrow!

Introducing the Sparrow Concierge

Written by Adrian Ciaschetti on July 15, 2016 in

We often hear horror stories from people about all the things that went wrong with their flight, including the booking experience. Ok, maybe horror is an exaggeration, but nonetheless it’s the customer support, or lack thereof, that you are most vocal about.

And rightly so. You are a busy person. You don’t have the time to spend 15 minutes trying to book a simple return flight to Melbourne. You don’t have the time to be on hold for half an hour while all customer service representatives are currently busy. And you don’t have the time to try navigate other systems that aren’t working.

To fix this, we’ve created the Sparrow Concierge. Simply send us a text or email, and we’ll take care of virtually any request you have for your flight. We’ll do everything in our power to make sure your needs are met. Think of us as your personal travel agent.

To give you an idea of what we can do, here are a few examples of what Sparrow customers have requested:

  • Ruth from Black Opal Direct sent us a text to check her into her flight because the Virgin mobile site was down, and there was an hour long queue to check in. We managed to do this for her on our desktop, and within a matter of seconds we had texted her boarding pass.
  • Michael from Yoghurt Digital needed to change his flight that was leaving in a couple of days. He gave us a call from his car, we called him back to confirm the price, and it was done.
  • Byron from Stile Education also needed to change his flight back to Melbourne for 2 hours later. He had his personal assistant call us to request the change right before she stepped into a meeting, we took care of it and sent them both the updated itinerary.

The Sparrow Concierge is now included with every flight booked through our app.

We hope this service makes you a more efficient and happy traveller!

Multiple credit cards

Written by Adrian Ciaschetti on July 13, 2016 in

You’ve asked, we’ve listened. One of our most requested features was the ability to pay for flights with different cards.

We’ve added the ability to load multiple credit cards into Sparrow, and when it comes time to pay for your flight, you can change the card in two taps. We think it’s pretty neat, and a definite time saver!


A quick reminder: we don’t store any of your credit card details on our servers. We use the payment platform Stripe to process and manage all payments, so you can be rest assured your personal information is safe.

We hope you enjoy the added time save. If you have any questions or feedback just send us an email.

Sparrow flights now Available!

Written by David Shepherd on July 11, 2016 in

As promised, Sparrow is now live in the App Store. After a year of research, product development, testing, reviewing, iterating, pivoting and more testing, we’re finally able to bring you the fastest and easiest way to book your domestic flights. Download the app and experience it for yourself.

Download SparrowOr search “Sparrow Flights”

Sparrow has been built from the ground up to make travel easy for the professional traveller. Our goal was to make something we would love and use ourselves. We couldn’t have done it without the support from our early adopters (you guys know who you are).

We have some awesome features we are working on that will be released often. Some will be small, and some will be big.

I encourage you to keep Sparrow updated. It makes sure you have the latest information, plus there might be a few surprises waiting for you. I’d love to outline the product map for everyone, but… the competition is always watching – you’ll just have to wait and see.

Adrian and I will be in contact with the people who referred 5 or more people, thank you again for your support.

David Shepherd