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A Flight Booking Engine Needs Flexibility

By Author: Glenn Dean
Total Articles: 14

Access to the right content combined with powerful business rules and flexible distribution capabilities is key to any travel business today. While this may be true in all sectors of the travel industry, it is particularly true when it comes to a flight booking engine. Travel technology solutions that allow a business to aggregate airline content from multiple sources and distribute it to a network of affiliated agencies or home-based agents can be a valuable tool in today's competitive online marketplace.

There are multiple content source options for a flight booking engine to choose from today. The ability to search multiple sources for airline content can be important for those businesses that are taking advantage of the special rates and content that many air consolidators or aggregators bring to the table. For example, some air consolidators focus on a specific geographic or ethnic market and work with a network of affiliated agents to book airline seats for their customers using the consolidator or host agency's credentials. Air consolidators aggregate sales with airlines and leverage their overall volumes for better prices and access to special deals. Some focus on specific destinations or regions of the world and are experts about every aspect of travel there. Others serve specific ethnic or specialty groups and have developed a vast network of sub-agents deep-rooted in a specific market. By combining your own agency's fares with those of an air consolidator or aggregator you work closely with, you can ensure that you always offer the most competitive price and provide your clients with the best value possible.

The ability to expand your agency footprint while taking advantage of what these specialists have to offer can be a valuable tool for you to have as well. Your flight booking engine should allow you to easily extend your reach to serve customers whether it be in person, on the phone or online. And for those always “on the go” consumers, you'll need a mobile ready application that adjusts the display to fit the screen of the device being used.

The flight reservation system you choose must allow you to easily define business rules that automatically control price adjustments and highlight special value add offers as well as targeted promotions. It's best to have the flexibility to control your business rules, so make sure the application has the flexibility to make price adjustments calculated as a fixed dollar amount ($) -or- a percentage (%) of the fare and apply a specific rule to certain sales channel or affiliate group. Business Rules should be easy to enter with the ability to define filters for a specific airline, flight number or class of service. With airline fares and seat availability changing so frequently, it can be nearly impossible for the most experienced travel agent to keep up with the latest deals.

Finding a flight booking engine that provides the right airline content, powerful business rules, and flexible distribution capabilities is important for any travel business. Choosing the right technology partner can be just as important.

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