Expedia has revealed it will begin offering customers the ability to search for and purchase branded fares from select airlines in 2015.
Expedia has partnered with Amadeus, a world leading global distribution system, to create a standardised solution that allows participating airlines to seamlessly offer their branded fares to customers.
Historically, airlines tried to differentiate themselves by offering unique branded fares that ranged from basic, seat-only options to premium fares including
features such as flexible change and refund policies.
Today, branded fares are evolving, with many airlines introducing fare products that combine traditional premium elements with new features such as confirmed seating, premium seating, checked bags and in-flight services.
Through its partnership with Amadeus, Expedia will open the possibility for consumers to select a fare with the attributes that matter most to them at the time of purchase.
“Price remains the single most important attribute for our customers when searching for their flights.
“However, when it comes to actually selecting flights, we are seeing customers pay closer attention to features such as baggage inclusion, seat selection and changeability as critical variables,” said Greg Schulze, senior vice president, global tour and transport at Expedia.
“The challenge with branded fares when customers see it at scale across multiple airlines will be ensuring they can make heads or tails of the increasing number of competitive offers.
“Instead of choosing from a few dozen flights that suit your needs from point A to point B with the times and airports you want, you’ll now see a whole set of branded fares on top of that.”
The company plans to go live with select carriers by mid-2015 with several more coming online by the end of the year.
“We are enormously excited about our partnership with Expedia, a leader in innovation, to deploy the Amadeus Airlines Fare Families solution,” said Holger Taubmann, senior vice president, distribution, Amadeus.
“This will allow airlines to seamlessly distribute their branded fares through one of the largest full-service online travel agencies in the world.
“Merchandising and retailing are vital elements in order for travel players to better meet to the needs of the traveller and to unlock additional revenues in a rapidly changing market, and this partnership is in line with our vision to make these revenues available for our customers.
“We believe this standardized solution will be hugely beneficial for the industry.”