Partnership to Provide Airlines with Feedback on What Customers are Buying

by Michele McDonald
Partnership to Provide Airlines with Feedback on What Customers are Buying

Farelogix, the Miami-based company that is developing New Distribution Capability (NDC) solutions for airlines, has partnered with Triometric, a business intelligence and XML analytics company to provide airlines with an important piece of the NDC puzzle: instant feedback on what customers are buying.

Just as important, it will provide feedback on what they are not buying, according to Jim Davidson, Farelogix CEO. That will make the shopping process more efficient and, ultimately, will create “better opportunities for travel agents,” he said.

Farelogix currently is working with 15 airlines, in some cases using its NDC API to link them with GDSs and/or corporate booking tools, said Davidson.

‘Ridiculous’ offers
Knowing what a customer has rejected will weed out the “ridiculous” offers that have marred the introduction of ancillary products and services and other airline merchandising efforts.

For example, when Davidson checks in for a flight, he is routinely offered a one-day lounge pass for $50, even though he’s a lifetime member of the club. Another airline regularly tries to “upsell” customers to its premium economy seats after they have been booked in business class.

Airlines make these gaffes because they have no clear, real-time picture of what offers are working and which are simply annoying.

Closing the ‘loop’
The new partnership will “close that loop,” Jonathan Boffey, business development director of Triometric, said.

“We go into the content of the [XML messaging] traffic,” Boffey said. “The vast majority of NDC search requests include origin and destination price, availability, length of stay, any children traveling.

“It’s a rich data source, and we collect all that key information from every transaction and build up a great picture of trends and any spikes in patterns.”

Correcting wrong assumptions
The immediacy of the response to an offer—whether it is positive or negative—will help the airline “auto-correct” when it makes a wrong assumption.

For example, the inclusion of a Saturday in an itinerary might suggest that the trip’s purpose is leisure. But if the airline pushes out several leisure packages that are rejected, it can reassess whether the traveler added an extra day to a business trip or simply was going for a lower “Saturday night stay” fare.

“It will help us get to know you, but not in a creepy way,” Davidson said.

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