TQ3 Travel Solutions has announced the results of an internal study using Web Fare-It, TQ3’s Web fare search and booking product, to compare flight prices across various European cities, various North American cities and some international routes as well as the use of Web fares by low cost airlines. Launched globally in 2003, Web Fare-It is a proprietary solution that enables consultants to offer Web-based inventory by efficiently evaluating savings associated with such bookings using company specific business rules to capture savings for corporate clients. TQ3 clients using Web Fare-It already have noted that average ticket prices have been reduced, with one company showing an average economy GDS-ticketed flight price of €232, compared to an average Web Fare-It ticket price of €120 for service in Germany.
The study concluded that on a route-by-route basis, Web purchased itineraries could substantially lower the price of a trip, with specific findings revealing:
? For a typical one-way flight, larger savings between GDS and Internet prices depend on how far in advance the ticket is purchased.
? Around 23% of the routes priced produced at least 10% savings, while another 27% of the routes showed savings that ranged between 10-50%.
? Approximately 37% of the European routes showed savings of over 50%.
? Regional low cost airlines are leading the way by offering a direct reservations channel through the Internet, and in many cases, continue to resist offering such inventory on the GDSs.
? Traditional carriers, especially in Europe, are responding to the downward price effect that low cost airlines have created. While some (e.g. Aer Lingus) have moved portions of their inventory from the GDS to the Web, others continue to publish and market Web-only fares (e.g. British Airways, KLM and most recently, Austrian Airlines).
“The study underscores that it is no longer sufficient for a travel management company to only offer flights that are sold through the GDS. In order for a TMC to continue to be competitive and offer low fares, there has to be an effective solution that allows consultants to offer Web-based inventory according to the traveller’s route and the company’s unique travel policy,” said Michel La Bianca, TQ3 Travel Solutions’ chief information officer for EMEA. “Consultants must be able to evaluate such inventory and offer flight prices and inventory from different sources.”
He added that offering Web-based inventory would help resolve the travel manager’s dilemma of being unable to receive consolidated MIS reporting regarding travel purchases or traveller disaster reporting.
Web Fare-It, which has been successfully deployed by TQ3 offices across the US, UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland and Germany, is designed to take into account the legal aspects of bookings that include each country’s interpretation of the data privacy act. In addition, because companies and/or travellers are asked to provide their required level of participation in Web Fare-It, the solution is completely configurable to TQ3 clients.