The business of selling airline tickets today is more competitive than ever and agency owners are constantly looking for ways to access the best airfares. Airlines have reduced the standard commission they pay travel agents for published airfares over the past few decades which has forced many travel agents to change the way they do business. Some agencies have given up selling airline tickets all together and now focus on other areas of travel. Those that continue to focus on selling airline tickets have been forced to implement changes to operate their business on lower profit margins and find ways to access the lowest airfares in the market.
Some are able to charge the customer a service fee in exchange for their expertise and service. This is a good example of when the right online Flight Booking Engine can be a valuable tool to define how and when service fees are charged. With the right booking engine, agencies are able to provide today’s traveler the industry expertise that only a travel professional can offer combined with the ease and convenience of promoting special offers or added value online.
Other agency owners have looked to Air Consolidators to access the best fares for their Flight Reservation System since many airlines offer reduced Negotiated or Private Fares to Air Consolidators that book high volumes of tickets with them. These fares are usually priced below those made available to the general public and provide the Consolidatorand agent the ability to mark up the fares with a service fee and still be competitive with published fares. Some Consolidators even offer a Flight Booking Engine for affiliated agents to cost effectively research and book these reduced airfares online. This can be a “Win/Win” situation for both since the agent is able to offer their customers access to lower airfares while increasing the Consolidator’s overall sales volume further with the airline. This incremental sales volume not only helps the Consolidator increase their overall sales revenue, but it also improves the Consolidator’s negotiation power further with the airlines in some cases.
Air Consolidators can be a great source to access these low fares and many focus on a specific geographic market or ethnic group. Many travel agents may choose to work with several different Air Consolidators simultaneously and will choose the best Consolidator for a specificmarket. In some instances an agency may want to designate a certain Consolidator when booking a certain airline. Others may want to check a Consolidator just for possible lower Private Fares and use their own agency’s GDS for Published fares. These are just some of the options that can be quite beneficial and cost effective ways to find the lowest airfare available in the market. This is where a Flight Reservation System needs to provide the powerful, flexible tools that allow the agency to control specifically how and when multiple simultaneous searches are performed.
So whether you decide to work with a Consolidator or not, choosing the right Flight Booking Engine can be crucial to the success of your travel business.
In this article author writes about Odysseus Solutions. So whether you decide to work with a Consolidator or not, choosing the right Flight Booking Engine can be crucial to the success of your travel business.