today announced the introduction of Galileo Optimal Shopping SM, a robust, new, fare-shopping tool available to Galileo-connected travel agencies in the US and Canada. This tool enables agents to quickly find a substantially greater depth and breadth of itineraries and low-fare pricing options for customers traveling on wholly North American itineraries. With the introduction of this technology and other new automation features, Galileo’s comprehensive 360¡ Fares offering now provides the industry’s leading fare-shopping solution. This new search tool identifies as many as 150 alternative itineraries at a time; includes fares from low-cost carriers and many airlines’ Web fares; and uses an intelligent search logic to allow agents to tailor fare searches and solutions to fit the preferences of individual customers, such as focusing a search on the cheapest fare, fastest route or most convenient travel time.
“This is a search technology that travel agencies literally cannot find anywhere else in the world, and we are delighted to make it available to Galileo subscribers through our 360o Fares platform,” said Marcie Verdin, vice president of Marketing, Galileo Americas. “Galilieo Optimal Shopping is functionally superior to the search technologies offered by other GDS’s - and equivalent to, or better than, the search technologies used by the leading online travel agencies. At Galileo, we are committed to helping our travel agency customers compete more effectively with tools that maximize efficiency, content that drives revenue, and marketing solutions that increase sales. Galileo Optimal Shopping is an easy-to-use, powerful tool that improves agency productivity and helps our subscribers more effectively compete with their online competitors.”
“Galileo’s Optimal Shopping essentially brings the convenience of online shopping to the agency desktop,” said JoAnne Little, director of operations for Gant Travel Management. “It has enabled us to find a comprehensive selection of itineraries and low-cost fares which were never available before via the desktop - and come up with solutions for our customers that were equal to or better than those found on the Internet.”
Lisa Mauvais, travel trainer for Andavo Travel, said, “We found that the Optimal Shopping tool increased our productivity in two ways - by reducing our need to search the Internet separately, and by reducing our need to perform multiple searches using a variety of search criteria.”
Verdin added, “By tailoring the search logic to fit the needs of an individual traveler, travel agents can be assured they are always quoting a customer the best fare that suits a customer’s needs - or what we like to call the ‘optimal’ fare. That’s what Optimal Shopping is all about—helping our customers consistently get the optimal price.”
Currently, Optimal Shopping is only available to Galileo-connected travel counselors in the US and Canada, and only applicable to travel itineraries that are wholly within the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Within these boundaries, the tool works on all Galileo platforms, including Focalpoint and Viewpoint and Galileo Web Services.
“The new technology is also a plus for our North American airline partners,” Verdin said. “It improves sell-through because agents are more likely to find inventory appropriate for their customer and reduces costs due to the benefits of caching.”
Optimal Shopping is powered by ITA Software, the same software used by many online travel sites, including Cheap Tickets, a Cendant subsidiary.