Monday, November 17, 2008

New flight results display launched in Amadeus Agency Internet Engine (e-Power)

Amadeus has recently launched the new layout of the flight results in the e-Power Internet Booking Engine. The new feature is in beta-testing on Paravion website and more customers will follow soon.

It’s a fact that consumers will always want a simple and quick tool to help them find the proper travel services. This enhancement will allow the users to narrow the search results through intuitive filters and pick-up the right flight recommendation from the list.

The new display includes:

Combined filters

- number of stops;

- multiple airline-selection tool;

- outbound / inbound airports;

- outbound / return departure times filters;

- price range sliding bar.


All the filters are very fast as they are updating on the client side without refreshing the page.

Even the user is scrolling vertically through the flight recommendations, the results filter box is always kept at the eyes level in order to ease the filtering of the various options.

Fare matrix view

- displays a nice summary table showing fares by number of stops and airline

- one can also sort the results by Price, Duration and Outbound departure time


Quick search form

It allows the user to change the current flight search directly from the results page without going back to the detailed search form.

Additionally, the quick search form is keeping the previous search data.


One fare to many flights display

The previous version of the flight search results was quite limited having in view that the user was not able to select a specific flight schedule for the lowest price. All the flight recommendations were offered as such, starting from the lowest fare.


The new layout is grouping several flight schedules for the same fare thus offering the user the possibility to select the right flight times.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Expedia to run Google Sponsored Links

Google and Expedia have entered into a partnership where the online travel agency will display Google’s Sponsored Links on some of its international domains (UK and Italy according to Travolution).

This is a surprising move for a big OLTA which usually keeps the website traffic within its own pages (booking, fulfillment, etc.). But this is not Expedia’s first action in this area. Coming back last year, in Nov2007, Expedia has signed a deal with InterContinental Hotels Group and introduced a media-based pricing model which combined transaction pricing with clicks on specific IHG properties within

The real fact with OLTAs is that a significant slice of the users are using the OLTA website to search for the services and then choose to book directly with the supplier. This was one of the reasons for the Expedia - IHG agreement. According to Paul Brown, president, Expedia North America and Expedia Partner Services Group, “Expedia brings partners two sources of value in terms of transactions and exposure like a media company does. We display those hotels billions of times a year but that does not always turns into transactions on our sites.” (via Travelmole).

According to a Comcore study, the supplier websites account for 72 percent of online hotel spend as of first quarter 2008, a 3-percentage increase from the previous year. Hotel market share through online travel agency sites (e.g. Expedia and Orbitz) is now 28 percent, 3-percentage points down from a year ago.

The media model in online travel has been first introduced by meta-search companies which redirect the audience to the direct travel suppliers. Their main revenues are generated by the referrals sent to the suppliers and the use of sponsored links.

Interesting to see if other big OLTAs will follow Expedia’s step in the near future.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kall Out - A new way to search using only your mouse

Recently I discovered a new application for web search which just makes your life easier.

The Kall Out service allows you to search the Web without minimizing the screen and going to the Web by highliting in any web page the term your’re interested in and clicking the small icon which brings the search menu right to your face.

Kall Out is able to search by Reference (Wikipedia, Thesaurus, Google Translate, etc.), Shopping (Amazon. Craiglist, etc.), News (Google News, New York TImes, etc.), Images (Flickr, Google Images), Video (YouTube), People (Facebook, Linkedin) and more.

Most of the search results are displayed within a floating information palette inside the browser (IE and FF) while still letting you work online. Seeing your results in context, instead of opening a new window, avoids the disruption of constantly switching between applications. According to Kall Out’s website selection-based search allows you to get results up to 10-times faster than traditional browser-based search.

Kall Out does not stop here. It even brings the web search in your Office documents. Kall Out works with most of the MS Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point) and PDF documents.

Kall Out has also a customizable feature for the context menu (”My Kall Outs”) which allows the users to set their own websites where to search. For instance, I set IgoUgo website as My Kall Out in order to directly search for any future travel reviews I might be interested in whenever I surf the web. The bad thing with “My Kall Outs” is that the search results are opened in a new browser window instead of the discrete window.

Kall Out is a very useful tool in web searching I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Online Travel Myths Unmasked at PhoCusWright Analyst Forum

PhoCusWright has unmasked 6 online travel myths at its first-ever Analyst Forum, held September 10 in New York City.

Here they are:

Myth #1: The number of online travel buyers in the U.S. is declining.

In fact, that number is on the rise, as documented in the recently published The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Tenth Edition. In 2007, approximately 70% of online travelers (that is, adults who have taken a commercial air trip and stayed at a hotel for leisure in the past year, and used the Internet in the past 30 days) bought travel online, compared to 63% in 2006.

Myth #2: More and more online travel shoppers use supplier sites than online travel agencies. While this belief is widespread in the travel industry, it is simply untrue, according to PhoCusWright, the travel industry research firm. In terms of popularity, online travel agencies are making a comeback (source: The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey Tenth Edition or “CTTS10“).

Myth #3: Travel agencies are experiencing a resurgence as travelers return to traditional purchasing channels. Not so. In reality, even many formerly exclusive offline buyers are migrating online for travel shopping and buying, according to CTTS10.

Myth #4: The next generation of travelers prefers to do everything online. The truth is, less than half of what 18-28 year olds spend on travel is spent online, according to The NEXTgen Traveler™ report, jointly published by PhoCusWright and Ypartnership.

Myth #5: Social networks and travel reviews have the greatest influence on travel decision-making. The NEXTgen Traveler™ report reveals that while social media is widespread, destination Web sites and online travel agencies are favored by nearly half of next generation travelers during the travel shopping process.

Myth #6: Online travel markets need high credit card and Internet penetration to succeed. The structure and ambitions of the travel marketplace are even more important drivers than infrastructure. Case in point is India, one of the most dynamic online travel marketplaces today, where roughly 98% of the population does not use credit cards or have access to the Internet.

Source: Phocuswright

Friday, September 19, 2008

Holiday Extras, viral travel ad

Holiday extras (an airport car-parking provider in UK) comes with a viral ad explaining the downturns of booking your holiday airport parking with a less-than-reputable company.

Kevin May, Travolution also wrote about it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ryanair publishes its list of the screen-scrapping websites - conclusion? everybody loves screen-scrapping!

Ryanair has recently published the list of their screen scrapping websites. The included document contains also the letter from Ryanair to the European Commission.

Among the screen-scrappers, famous online travel websites: Priceline,,,, etc.

Unsurprisingly, some of the meta search websites who generated direct traffic to were also included in the list but they were allowed to do screen-scrapping. These websites are generating sales leads to Ryanair but allow the booking fulfilment on Ryanair’s website.