So where are we now, and what opportunities are there for the future? At this moment in time, we are at a pivotal point in travel distribution. Gone are the days of airline.com websites versus everything else online.

As users start to engage more and more with searching, booking and paying for their travel on the applications they use day to day, whether that be an app, via messenger or even voice, they will increasingly demand the ability to book these services instantly and without friction. This will be true, regardless of whether they find these tickets on a metasearch or an airline’s site, or indeed whether they are sat at home on a laptop or sharing deals with friends in a messenger chat. As an industry we must strive to offer the richest flight shopping experience for travellers whenever and wherever they need us – and that includes on everything from desktop through to social platforms and in conversations.

As we enter this decisive era, where on-the-go services and mobile screen sizes take on a heightened importance, being part of a dynamic, brand-optimised online marketplace capable of catering to travellers on all devices is more vital than ever.

It’s time to offer travellers the most dynamic form of airline fares and ancillary options with as little friction as possible. We believe that doing so requires travellers to interact fully with airline brands in the course of their online shopping journey. Not only do we envision that travellers - who increasingly turn to comparison sites to plan their trips - prefer this seamless process, but we know it delivers more return for carriers, who are empowered to showcase their brand and uplift the very products that increase bottom-line profit.

What the traveller wants is a seamless search, shopping and booking experience for their air tickets…easy access to an array of options for seats and other services, and a hassle-free pathway through that process. The brands - be they...airlines, search engines or others - that deliver that experience in a way that masks the complexity that goes on at a technology or integration level will be those that win going forward. This is especially important as consumers gradually shift to a primary device with a single service to cater for all their travel needs.
— Kevin May, Senior Editor, Tnooz, March 2017

 

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