Choosing The Right Airline System for Your Travel Business

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Gone are the days when airline passengers needed to visit their local travel agent to make an airline reservation. The online revolution of commerce has touched just about every business and the airline industry is no exception. Today, customers can check an airline reservation system for pricing and availability from just about anywhere. Online travel booking engines have made it easier for customers to research and purchase airline tickets or reserve a hotel room. The advantages these online booking engines offer customers range from quick and easy price comparisons of several airlines to allowing travelers to select their seat or reserve a meal. Some even include the ability to simultaneously search multiple content sources for the best fare on a specific airline.

The convenience including a flight reservation system on your website allows customers to interact with your travel business any time of day, no matter whether you are busy at the moment or not. Simply put, having an online booking engine that is easy to use and readily available allows your business to be ready when your customers are. Not to mention the convenience of eliminating the need for your customers to make an extra trip to your agency location. A good online travel booking engine allows your customers to easily research and book their flight arrangements at their own pace as well as where and when they are ready.

Some air booking engines even include the ability to simultaneously search multiple content sources for the best fare. This allows them to take advantage of some potentially lower rates offered by an affiliated agency or partner by seamlessly including these lower rates in the display. Others may look for the ability to connect their flight reservation system with affiliated agents and their own individual or websites which can be another important tool to extend their reach. The more advanced air booking engines even allow for the Booking engine’s header & footer to be customized to match a specific affiliate’s unique branding.

Today’s airline reservation system needs to keep pace with the changing marketplace and include the ability easily make price adjustments and include value adds in the display. A good air booking engine will provide the ability to adjust an airfare based on the date booked, dates travelled, airline, flight number and even the type of airfare used. Value add offers such as free travel insurance or other merchandising opportunities can be included right in the availability display in some cases, alerting customers to where they will find the best value in addition to lowest price.

Lastly, you may want to consider an airline reservation system that includes robust reporting tools to help you track your business. Predefined reports that provide basic Booking Statistics including basic customer reports, booking modified status reports to track bookings with a change in status and even search statistics to identify what customers are looking for verses actually booking using the flight reservation system.

Finding a flight reservation system with the right combination of options for your business can be critical and the key to the success of your online travel business. Finding a technology partner with the right solutions to meet your needs can be just as important.

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Hotel Bookings Can Help Increase Revenues

Hotel Bookings Can Help Increase Revenues

Are you serving all of your customer’s travel needs or leaving money on the table by not offering hotel accommodations along with an airline reservation or cruise vacation? Adding Hotel Reservation Software to your online booking engine is an excellent way to diversify your agency’s sources of revenue and capture additional commissions while taking care of more of your customers overall travel needs.

There are several things to consider when choosing the Hotel Booking Engine that is right for your business. Consider factors like who your customers are, what type of hotel accommodations are they interested in and how they prefer to research, book and purchase their travel products. A good online booking engine should include the content your customers are looking for with the ability for you to easily adjust a product’s selling price. It should be simple to use and contain links to media files & rich content to assist with selecting the right hotel property during the shopping and booking process.

You don’t need to be selling to customers located in international markets for multi-language capabilities to be important to your online business. For example, a significant portion of the population in many North American cities speak languages other than English. Studies have shown that communicating with these populations in their native language improves customer satisfaction and increases sales. You may consider adding a Spanish version of your online booking engine to attract and serve the growing Hispanic community throughout North America or French to serve the French speaking population in a city like Montreal. Multi-currency capability is something you will also look for in your online booking engine as well if you do plan to expand internationally.

Consider attracting travelers looking for last minute deals due to a sudden change in plans or those just looking for a last minute getaway with special offers. These “on the move” customers are more likely to use their mobile device to check last minute pricing and availability, especially when they are already traveling, so a mobile ready application will be key. Make sure that the Hotel Reservation Software that you choose is built using responsive technology that can automatically adjust the screen display to fit the type of device being used.

For a way to compete with some of the large Online Travel Agencies, consider a Hotel Booking Engine that includes powerful tools that allow you to pre-define business rules to create your own promotions and special deals for customers to take advantage of. You’ll want an online booking engine that allows you to easily adjust a product’s selling price or include specific value add offers based on a wide range of criteria that you define and preset. For example, consider adding VIP extras like champagne on arrival or access to other special amenities hotels reserve for their best customers.

And to maintain contact with your customers throughout the selling process and actual hotel stay, consider a Hotel Booking Engine that allows you to customize your emails to customers and communicate with them before, during and after their trip.

Finding Hotel Reservation Software with the right combination of options for your business can be critical and the key to the success of your online travel business. Finding a technology partner with the right solutions can be just as important.

The Right Travel Software Can Revolutionize The Agent Selling Process

Travel Software Can Revolutionize Agent Selling Process

Online travel booking solutions are one of the biggest benefits that the internet has provided the travel industry. These online solutions have revolutionized the way the entire travel industry interacts and conducts business with customers. Today, anyone with access to the internet is just a few clicks away from the ability to research and confirm their travel arrangements. The travel agent software available today has automated and customized the entire booking process while providing comprehensive and innovative solutions for travel agents to better serve their customers. There are solutions available today for travel agents that will make the shopping and booking process quicker and easier for any travel component including Airlines, Hotels and even Cruise Lines.

The airlines started the trend years ago by automating the process for travel agents to sell flights by launching their own booking engines for travel agents to use. By using these early airline booking engines, travel agents were able to greatly improve their productivity selling airline tickets and provide better service to their customers. Travel agent software has been evolving ever since, constantly adding new features & functionality as well as new product lines such as hotels, car rentals, cruise vacations and even travel insurance.

Applications that are easy to use and contain the information a travel agent needs to research the options available are critical to success. For example, finding the right hotel based on an individual’s specific needs is an important part of planning any trip, but can be overwhelming with so many options available. To help simplify the process and select the right hotel for a client, many hotel booking engines integrate links to media files & rich content to assist during the shopping process. Many online cruise booking engines can even allow anyone to quickly research and book a cruise with many containing detailed ship and cabin descriptions as well as photos to help identify the best options available during the shopping process.

Easy to use travel agent software is built to automate processes and reduce the amount of time it takes to make a booking. Many are so easy to use that they can have agents selling quickly with a minimal amount of training. Some travel technology solutions can also extend booking capability to an agency’s website. This allows customers to research and book travel anytime, anywhere they choose, while still receiving the benefits of using a professional travel agent.

Some things to consider include the type of products you plan to sell, the sources you plan to secure your content from and the ability to protect your brand identity. So update the online travel solution your agents are using and revolutionize your travel business. Both you and your customers will be glad you did. Finding travel agent software with the right combination of options for your business can be critical to the success of your travel business. Finding a technology partner with solutions to help you serve today’s mobile consumer when and where they shop for travel can be just as important.

Hotel Bookings Anytime, Anywhere

Hotel Bookings Anytime, Anywhere

The explosive use of mobile devices over the past decade has made mobile technology an important part of any travel business’ strategy to attract and serve customers. Have you ever turned around and went back home to get your mobile phone, even if you are going to be gone for just a few minutes? It seems like many of us have become so accustom to the convenience these devices provide, that they have become one of our most important, if not critical possessions.

Retailers recognize this opportunity and many have capitalized on the trend and can make their products and services available to their customers anytime, anywhere. Airline reservations are just a few clicks away and many applications include a hotel booking engine as well.

You’ll want to start with the basics like a mobile ready website so that customers can find your business quickly and easily online using the device of their choice. A good way to start your research may be to learn what your competitors are using for their online technology and see if something similar might work for you. Businesses of all size are realizing the potential of mobile ready technology to gain more customers and increase sales and are taking their business mobile. Today’s online consumer can shop for and purchase everything for their trip using their mobile device including airline tickets and hotel reservations and they can even purchase Travel Insurance for it all as well.

As Millennials become the largest segment of consumers, make sure your business is ready to serve this generation the way that they choose to shop. While there are no precise dates for when this contingent of the population starts or ends, typically a millennial was born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s to early 2000s as a group. This is the generation that grew up with laptop computers, cellphones and helped fuel the explosion of the use of smart phones globally. They are quick to embrace new technology and make a majority of their purchases online. They also travel more than generations before them and often start their research for their travel accommodations using a hotel booking engine that is mobile ready.

When it comes to online technology, you need to be open to learning something new every single day, or you will quickly find your online technology outdated and unable to keep up with today’s mobile economy. To prevent this, one topic that should stay on your radar is mobile ready hotel booking engine. As you research the online booking engine options available, you should consider that more businesses will be offering their services online than ever before, ensuring that mobile ready travel technology is here to stay. The benefits of flexibility and ease of use improves the customer engagement in a way that millennial customers demand. A strong mobile strategy can increase sales while improving customer engagement and loyalty, a combination of factors for growth that your business is sure to benefit from.

Finding a hotel booking engine with the right combination of options for your business can be critical to the success of your travel business. Finding a partner with travel technology solutions to help you reach today’s mobile consumer anytime, anywhere they shop for travel can be just as important.

It Started with Flight Booking Software

Flight Booking Software

Today, no travel technology solution is complete without some type of flight booking software included. The airline industry was an early pioneer of automating the sale of travel and introduced the first computer reservation systems decades ago. I started my career as an airline reservation agent and remember attending weeks of training to learn how to use the first in-house computerized reservation systems. Gone were the days when we would scramble around the reservation center to find the actual “Book” that kept track of the customers booked on a certain flight. The “Book” was replaced by clunky green screen monitors connected to a massive Computer Reservation Systems also known as the CRS. We were required to memorize cryptic formats to check schedule availability, pricing and to complete a reservation. While many complained about the time and effort it took to learn how to use the new flight booking systems, it wasn’t long before everyone saw just how much more efficient it was compared to using the old reservation books.

These airline reservation systems continued to evolve, adding updated flight information and other services to assist customers and travel agents. Airlines quickly discovered the benefit of expanding the access to these systems to their best travel agent customers, providing them instant access to availability and pricing as well as the ability to book flights for their customers.

These early centralized computer reservation systems began to add more features and additional travel components such as hotels and car rentals and eventually evolved into early versions of the first generation of Global Distribution Systems or GDSs. These computer reservation systems were deployed in travel agency offices worldwide and became critical for both airlines looking to increase the distribution of their product as well as the travel agents looking to serve their customers more efficiently.

It wasn’t long before the internet revolution exploded and suddenly consumers were shopping and purchasing just about everything online. As these online travel technology solutions became more widely used, many travel agents identified the need for online travel technology solutions that automate processes and are easily customized to support their own unique brand identity. Today’s travel agent needs both a Business to Business (B2B) application as well as a Business to Consumer (B2C) application that automate processes and increase revenues while reducing the time and effort it takes a travel agent or consumer to complete a transaction.

Travel Agents need to be able to quickly adjust a product’s selling price or include special offers right in the availability display. Flight booking software needs to have the flexibility to define a business rule to a specific market, travel or booking dates, suppliers and more. Applications should be designed to meet the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces and easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages.

Early adoption of automation combined with the fact that a flight reservation is often the starting point when making travel plans, make flight booking software a key component for most travel technology solutions. Finding a travel technology solution with the right combination of options for your business can be critical to the success of your travel business. Finding a technology partner with solutions to help you easily and cost effectively reach today’s mobile consumer where and how they shop for travel can be just as important.

Travel Technology Solutions Can Help Your Business Grow!

Travel Technology Solutions Can Help Your Business Grow

Travel technology continues to evolve at lightning speed and has significantly impacted the way that Suppliers as well as Travel Agents attract and interact with customers. In today’s world, travel technology solutions are a key element to the success of any travel business whether a small to medium size traditional retail agency or one of the large online travel agencies (OTAs) that dominant today’s online travel market.

Many “out of the box” solutions do not have the flexibility needed and are too generic for many businesses. A custom built application can be expensive to develop and maintain putting them “out of reach” for most except for the largest companies. When considering online travel booking engines, look for one that automates processes, has the business rule features you need and is easily customized to support your unique brand identity.

When trying to reach a limited amount of targeted customers, the traditional method of face-to-face meeting at a retail travel agency location or speaking with an agency call center is usually enough and in some cases can help strengthen the relationship an agency has with their customer. A good travel agent does more than just “take travel orders”, they are a resource that can assist with making the right choices for a trip and can often provide access to special deals and amenities. They can help today’s traveler avoid making a disastrous mistake with their travel arrangements and can often help make them feel like a VIP during their trip.

Whether your customers shop online or through a retail travel agency, travel technology plays an important role in their interaction with your business. The best applications provide both Business to Business (B2B) capabilities for retail travel agents and call centers as well as Business to Consumer (B2C) to serve those customers shopping online. But there is more to selling travel on line than having a website, there are travel technology solutions available today that are built using responsive technology. These mobile ready applications automatically adjust their display based on the type of device being used. A critical feature to reach the growing number of consumers addicted their mobile devices.

The right technology solution also plays an important role in setting a business up for future expansion. Whether that be through organic growth, reaching out to a new ethnic markets or expanding into a new geographic region, your travel technology needs to be ready to expand with your business.

Look for applications that are designed to meet the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces and can easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages. However, going global involves a lot more than language or currency since each market can have it’s own requirements and set of local supplier content that is critical to success there. You’ll want to find a global application that has worked closely with customers and suppliers to localize the product including access to that specific local content critical to the market.

Finding travel technology with the right combination of options for your business can be critical to the success of your travel business. Finding a technology partner with solutions to help you reach today’s mobile consumer where and how they shop for travel can be just as important.

Odysseus And The Trojan Horse

Odysseus Solutions

The term Odysseus comes from Greek mythology about the Trojan War between the Greeks and the people of Troy. When the Greeks reached Troy and the Trojan War started, Odysseus played an influential role as a strategist and advisor for the Greeks. According to the legend, Odysseus was the creator of the Trojan Horse, a huge wooden statue of a horse that was supposed to be a gift to the Trojans from the Greeks as they retreated. The Trojans jubilantly accepted the gift, pulled it into the center of the city and started a celebration around it. When nighttime arrived, the Greek warriors who were hiding inside the hollow body of the horse revealed themselves and massacred the Trojans and won the war. Odysseus became a legendary strategist and his “Trojan Horse” soon evolved as a description of a person or thing intended secretly to undermine or bring about the downfall of an enemy or opponent.

Odysseus Solutions is a Miami based Travel Technology Company providing the most comprehensive and innovative online booking solutions available today. By designing unique custom business solutions that are fast, flexible and responsive, Odysseus Solutions helps it’s clients increase sales, open new markets and “win the war” against the competition.

Odysseus Solutions was founded in 2005 to fill the industry need for an online travel booking engine that automates processes and is easily customized to support a client’s unique brand identity. Founder and CEO, Monish Luthra, organized a group of developers, suppliers and travel agents and used a collaborative approach to develop the ultimate travel booking engine. The result was a fully customizable Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C) application that automates processes and increases revenue while it reduces the time and effort required to complete a transaction.

The Odysseus booking engine includes powerful, easy to use tools that help clients manage their business and beat their competitors in the travel marketplace. Odysseus clients are able to quickly adjust a product’s selling price or include special offers right in the availability display with the flexibility to define a rule by a specific market, travel dates, booking dates, suppliers and more.

Odysseus applications are designed to meet the unique requirements of Global Marketplaces and can easily handle multiple currencies as well as multiple languages. However, Odysseus Solutions understands that going global involves a lot more than language or currency and has worked closely with customers and suppliers to localize the product in many markets including access to specific local content critical to the market.

Odysseus is ready to help your business “Win the War” with flexible & fully scalable applications that meet local requirements and combine critical local market content with global content providers. “State of the Art” technology allows Odysseus to design and deliver flexible & fully scalable applications that can easily grow with your business while maintaining your unique brand identity. Odysseus Solutions was all about innovative technology, collaboration and superior service when it started and still is today!