TelMe Online Services has announced the launch of Farebase.co.uk, a complete e-commerce and information portal dedicated solely to travel agents.
The portal is a `one stop shop` for agents to book published and consolidated scheduled fares, as well as accessing charter fares, packages and information.
The Farebase portal is a multi-consolidator travel portal that gives travel agents free access to the best range of published and consolidated fares held within a single source. The portal is unique in aggregating nett fares from a number of the UK`s leading consolidators. It allows Farebase.co.uk to act as a “central distribution system” for travel agencies looking to gain access to such data. Consolidators involved at launch are Unijet, Travel-Centre and Lupus Travel, although further consolidators will be introduced into the portal over the coming weeks to build a complete list of “who`s who” for the travel trade.
The portal is independent so agents are not tied to a particular fares consolidator (although agencies will need to have agreements in place with consolidators to proceed - a service provided by TelMe). Agencies will also be able to ticket all IATA published fares themselves, thereby keeping the commissions and transactions fees, or queue them to the IATA ticketing agency of their choice. The system is implemented using TelMe`s award winning Ticket Window Internet reservations system - a proven technology base already widely used in the travel industry.
Farebase.co.uk also gathers pertinent travel based information from a multitude of sources. The portal will also provide an area from which existing Farebase customers can get the most up to date access of Farebase fares and late availability holiday data sets.
TelMe Online Services has spent 12 months developing the Farebase.co.uk portal concept. It will provide a valuable new revenue stream for TelMe through subscriptions, transaction fees, tenancies and advertising.
The Farebase.co.uk portal is divided into 3 key areas:
1) Online reservations area
This area is free for portal users to access. It facilitates simultaneously searching of IATA published fares through Galileo and also fares from a variety of volume and niche consolidators. For each fare found, an instant availability check is made for the dates specified. The system also validates the complex fare rules 100% accurately in less than 60 seconds. This means processes that have traditionally taken travel agency staff hours can now be completed in minutes. The reservation system is based on TelMe`s Ticket Window booking engine, which allows tickets to be queued to either the chosen consolidator or IATA ticketing agency. Hotels, car hire and insurance can also be reserved or purchased online in minutes, through TelMe`s network of links to relevant sites.
2) Online information area This area is also free for portal users to access. It provides them with links to a wide range of valuable travel information sources including health, visas, destination guides, weather, maps, timetables, local events and tours, etc.
3) Farebase Data Searches and Support This is a closed area, available to existing and new Farebase subscribers. This area brings together information from over 120 consolidators, providing the most comprehensive source of fares and late availability package data available in the UK. Farebase has over 700 travel agency subscribers in the UK who currently download data from bulletin boards or from disk or CD. Existing customers of Farebase can transfer to the new system, which will provide automatic updates for subscribers.