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The Future of Airline Websites

The Future of Airline Websites
According to J.D. Power, eighty-seven percent of travelers used the Internet for the bulk of their travel planning in 2012, yet the online booking experience being offered by modern airlines is still stuck in the 90s. Inspired by the opportunity to bring progressive disruption to this huge marketplace, we reviewed all major airline websites, and graded them against design and usability criteria including: information architecture, interaction design and visual design. The results were disheartening. We believe that unless the airlines take drastic measures to improve their digital experiences, third-party sites like Kayak and Expedia will continue to eat into their profits.

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Priceline launches new venture to invest in startups beyond travel Priceline, the world’s largest travel company, has launched a new startup investment arm called Priceline Ventures, Skift has learned and the company has confirmed. The new venture, technically not a separate fund, is fully financed by internal Priceline money, and run by Glenn Fogel, the Worldwide Strategy and Planning head for Priceline. According to Priceline, this new venture, founded earlier this year, will invest in “growth companies around the world that may be too small or early in their development to be acquisition candidates but are working in areas of substantial interest to the Group.” Which means companies anywhere from early to later stage startups — not necessarily directly involved in travel — in sectors such social marketing, mobile tech, local consumer market and analytics. Amounts range from as small as one million dollars (or even smaller for attractive seed rounds) to significantly larger sums — we’ve heard up to $20 million, though the company won’t confirm that.

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The space between searching flights and clicking purchase Internet has undoubtedly changed the way the world travels, but there are many travelers that are still not booking online whether it be due to structural barriers, cultural preferences, or a lack of resources. A recent report by Tourism Australia researched what percentage of travelers from ten countries planned and booked their trips to Australia online, in the year ending March 2012. Brazilian travelers were the most likely to plan travel online (91 percent); Chinese were the least (64 percent). Singaporeans were the most likely to book online (64 percent), Chinese were again the least (14 percent). More travelers relied on the Internet more than travel agents, friends and family, and guidebooks for the planning phase of their trip; and all travelers were more likely to research than book online.

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10 Sites For The Best Airfare Deals There's not much that can evoke thoughts of both work and play like buying airfare. You're either trying to find a last-minute ticket to make it in time for a meeting, or hoping to get to a remote island as cheaply as possible. Some trips are regular, essential and planned far in advance, like visiting the family for Christmas; while other trips — spending time with that long-distance significant other — are flexible on dates, but can break your wallet if not purchased strategically. For whatever your airfare needs may be, there is a growing corral of consumer portals for searching available flights and getting deals. Some make the experience less stress-inducing; others make it feel like a game.

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