Meta-Search Trends

Flight Metasearch - Hard Landing Into a New Business Model - Tnooz

Excerpt from Tnooz

Metasearchers are facing a real problem.

Google, Kayak, Skyscanner and many others are spending a lot in attracting travellers looking for tickets, but most often let them go anonymously once they've selected a flight.

Although their branding is impeccable, they don't actually own their customers. The transaction is completed by the supplier or the agency instead, who are the ones collecting precious traveler data. In these times of promising personalization efforts, customer-driven Big Data and future evolutions in A.I., that's a big loss for metasearchers.

But it's also difficult to change this state of affairs. Airlines are still suppliers, and meta players need to make sure to keep them happy. It's a precarious equilibrium to maintain.

Flight metasearchers have competed and distinguished themselves by investing huge amounts in innovative user experiences and gaining incredible insights on faring trends (e.g. "farecasting" when prices will go up or down). It's therefore no surprise that they attract visitors and help them compare so effectively (especially when it comes to Millenials).

But, as a traveler, would you keep enjoying the best experience when – from your mobile app – you have to slightly wait before soft-landing? As an airline, would deeplinking always be up-to-date with good conversion levels and optimized upselling capabilities?

The current metasearch model, which simply pushes travelers to another site after shopping seems simply unsustainable. Four major forces are pushing it out of the uneasy equilibrium it had built. 

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