Planning for a trip is getting better and better with many new innovative applications flowing in. Some applications target to inspire travellers, some offer reviews, some offer things to do in a place, some offer budget / homestay accommodation etc. If you are looking for a pre-defined itinerary or create your own itinerary for your trip by looking at maps that have attractions / accommodations pinned in it, then you should be looking at Tripomatic, Czech Republic based startup.
Today, Cleartrip launched Pricewatch, a new solution that will continuously monitor air fare (after booking) and when the fare falls by more than the associated amendment chages, PriceWatch auto-refunds the difference amount. This is a much needed feature and Cleartrip is the first Indian OTA to implement this.
Sabre Travel Network, a global technology company serving travel agencies and suppliers, has unveiled “Clipboard Red App” as a new app to its Sabre Red App Centre. Sabre launched Sabre Red App Centre in March 2012. Sabre Red is the desktop terminal that Sabre’s network of travel agents use. Sabre Red App Centre is a centralised repository of apps for Sabre Red desktop application.
Travelocity’s India website is shutdown, permanently. This is indeed shocking. Reason for this move is unknown at this moment. We’re trying to reach out to Travelocity India team. Travelocity global launched its India portal in 2007 and at that point in time their strategy was to focus on hotels.
TripRental.com, a startup focusing on vacation rental market has secured Series A funding of $500,000 from private investors including William Vaughn Moore. TripRental is planning to fuel this investment capital to expand their sales team across the country (US), expand product development, increase traffic to the website, provide high quality content on site and marketing efforts.
News from: United Airlines cash award to employees, Gogo’s service in AA’s flights, redesigned TRX website, HomeAway’s new Reservation Manager application, Travelocity’s free concierge service, US travel agents flight bookings, Bedandbreakfast contest and career changes.
FlightsWithFriends, a California based travel startup (that emerged out of beta early this month) has added ‘Hotels’ as its second offering, in addition to Flights. FligtsWithFriends launched in early 2012 offers group travel planning service where user can invite his/her Facebook friends to chat, finalize and select flights – all in realtime. Simply put, its a social meta-search engine.
Travel reservation engines are turning more visual. The entire shopping and booking experience is made visually appealing by travel players like Hipmunk in hotel sector and QuickAirLink in flight sector. An addition to visual flight search provider is – WhichAirline, a company that searches 100,000 airline routes and offers cheap flight search results in an innovative display.
In June 2012, we wrote about the possible impacts that Apple’s Passbook could create in travel industry. As soon as Apple launched Passbook app in fall 2012, travel companies (mostly tier-1 players) made their offerings ‘passbook-friendly’. Today, India based leading online travel agency Cleartrip has emerged as India’s first portal to make its offerings passbook-friendly. Effective today, customers who reserve flights, hotels and trains in Cleartrip will be able to add their bookings to Apple’s Passbook.
HolidayIQ, India’s leading website for user generated reviews on destinations and hotels today launched a new section on their website – “Holiday Ideas“. Earlier in Q2, 2012, the company refreshed their homepage completely and launched it with many new sections – Holiday awards, Trending trips, Facebook integration, Better search, Updated map display, Best selling products and Traveler types. ‘Holiday Ideas’ adds to the company’s major product release list.
These days it is hard to imagine a time when the Internet did not play a pivotal role in the way in which people research and book their travel / holidays. As the online travel market grows in size, so to do the sheer number of choices available to the consumer when booking online. While this level of consumer choice is a good thing, it can leave the customer overwhelmed. Therefore, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have to find their way to “stand out from the crowd” – and that can be done only by creating a positive booking experience.
In the past, present or future, customer experience is one thing that a travel company could not / cannot afford to lose. Money spent to retain customers are higher than to get new customers. Companies are working very hard to offer unique solution offerings to enhance customer experience. Few offer a great booking experience, few offer royal hospitality during stay and the list goes on. Assume that you are searching in a travel website for holiday packages to Malaysia, you are searching for 15 minutes and haven’t made
In the last two years, many innovations have happened in the travel industry.These innovations range from website redesigns, new feature rollouts, offering differentiated customer service etc. One segment that has huge scope for innovation is – the way customers use travel websites. We have seen very different design experiences created by companies like Hipmunk, Skyscanner, UTrip, Marriott, Tourdust. The recent addition to this list is definitely “Quickairlink“.
Gone are the days when the meta-search engine just gives us price and flight details by querying various websites. Now, there are many innovative meta-search engines in market. Superfly is a great example. Superfly, founded by Jonathan Meiri and Zviki Cohen, is a meta-search engine that takes into account the travellers loyalty program details and offers discounts on fare. This might look simple. It is not just a direct connection from Superfly to all the airlines frequent flyer systems.