Consumer Travel Products – Where Are They Heading To?
In the last two months – I have read about at least two dozen new travel products. Today, I was trying to recollect those product names and I could barely remember more than two, but I could recollect more than 50% of products’ features. In the current world, there is an app / product for any workflow or scenario that you can practically think of in travel industry.
I want to know when to book my flights so that I get a good pricing – Bing Travel can tell you [Farecast Algorithm]
- I want to book the cheapest price flight, I don’t care of the airline brand – Priceline can help you [Opaque pricing model]
- When the price of my booked flight drops, I want to know that – Yapta provides this feature [now they do for Hotels and other LOBs as well]
- When the price of my booked hotel drops, I want the system to automatically cancel my old hotel booking and re-book the same hotel room at new lower price – Tingo does exactly this service [recently launched by TripAdvisor]
- While I book my flight, I want to sit next to a person of my choice, he should have same interests as mine – KLM Airline‘s new “Social Seating” concept will help you in this.
- As soon as I land at my destination city, I want to inform my family members and friends that I have reached safe – “ArrivedOK” app will inform your families & friends.
- I am taking a long haul flight, I want to book in a flight where many seats are empty, preferably the seats next to mine should be empty so that I can stretch and have a good sleep – Welcome to 2012, “Air Asia” recently announced “Empty Seat Option” feature, this exactly does what you just read. Book the seats next to you at cheap price, have a good sleep.
- I want to know who among my Facebook friends are travelling in the same flight as I am – “Planely” can help you figure that out.
And, the list is endless. Trust me. To go even one level higher, there are more than one apps / products for majority of customer travel scenarios.
Where is consumer travel heading to? There are no game-changing products released in recent years. All new products address a particular scenario or workflow in consumer travel ecosystem. These are fillers, but they are good fillers. These products are needed for the industry. We would love to see a single product that encompasses ALL OF THESE features in it, that would be bliss. Practically, how many customers will remember – which product to use for which scenario, that itself will be a product by itself. We definitely need integration of all key consumer travel products, when that happens – travel will really be good.
Author: Karthick Prabu