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.