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Virgin Atlantic limits auction to Windows users

The airline offers tickets for some of its flights via a new online auction site--but if you're a Macintosh or Linux user, don't bother visiting.

Virgin Atlantic is offering tickets for some of its flights to Europe and other destinations via a new online auction site. But if you're a Macintosh or Linux user, don't bother visiting.

To access the ticket auction, consumers need to first download a program from Voyager Technologies. That program only works on Windows-based PCs.

"We are really using this as a test to see how our inventory sells," said Bill Danylko, interactive marketing manager at Virgin Atlantic. "If we choose to move forward with it, we will make it compatible for the Mac (and other systems)."

Virgin and Voyager launched the auctions yesterday, Danylko said. Voyager is managing the auction technology and is the actual ticket seller, having bought some of Virgin's inventory, he said. Virgin is marketing the online auctions through its Web site and via newspaper advertisements.

Ticket and travel auctions online have grown in popularity over the last couple of years as first Priceline and then Expedia launched such services. Unlike Priceline and Expedia, which offer tickets from a number of different airlines, Voyager's auctions only sell Virgin tickets.

The current auction will run through Feb. 10. Consumers can choose from a range of dates and flight numbers on which to bid; however, Virgin is only offering a "certain class" of fares, Danylko said, declining to say what that was.

Voyager is already beta testing a Mac version of the auction software, Danylko said. However, neither company felt the software was ready for the current auction.