State of the Airlines

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

NEWS: Travelocity Feature Offers a Peak in the Airline Backroom

A new feature called Flight Navigator to be offered by Travelocity will offer folks shopping for airline tickets a look at three new pieces of information: coupon redemptions, dynamic package offers, premium cabin class or onboard services or amenities. In addition it will show the shopper a seat map with available seats before they buy a ticket, a feature normally not available to the flyer until after the seat is purchased. Now some airlines, and even some travel agents, are not that hot on this idea. They say seat availability and fares change all the time so the information might not be accurate. I say it is offering the flying public just a little peek at how often the airlines are juggling seat availability and fares in an attempt to maximize profits (yield management). I've said before that these hyper agressive practices end up alienating consumers. The smart airline will see this as an opportunity to market pricing and availability in a new way.