The Business Times

Closing gap on air travel shopping

Iata working to bridge divide between services offered by airlines and those by travel agents

Published Tue, Nov 5, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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SHOPPING for air travel is changing. Air travel has become a product with multiple attributes that may include in-flight Wi-Fi, extra legroom or lounge access, as opposed to just a seat on an aeroplane. Travellers can build their own trip experience by selecting which options will add value to the journey.

On airline websites, customers have access to these additional products and services. But for the 60 per cent of tickets (by value) that are sold via a high-street travel agent or travel website, information available to agents is more basic, because distribution technology used by agents currently is limited to little more than fares and schedules.

The 2013 Iata Global Passenger Survey (GPS) of nearly 8,000 travellers confirms the existence of an information gap between airline websites and other shopping channels. For example:

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