Chalk up another win for ATPCO and the Routehappy rich content it distributes. Kayak signed a deal last week to bring the details into its metasearch engine, helping passengers to better understand what they are purchasing, beyond just a seat from point A to point B. Details like Wi-Fi, USB outlets, in-flight entertainment and food will display in its flight search results, along with details on charges for seat selection, checked baggage, flight changes and more.
We want our users to have the best possible information to evaluate flights. Routehappy makes it easy for our partners to merchandise their offers and, in turn, for travelers to make the perfect choice.– Debby Soo, Chief Commercial Officer at KAYAK
The deal is the latest in a long string of wins for ATPCO and its Routehappy operation. Not only does it represent winning back a customer – Kayak used Routehappy data previously and experimented with other suppliers before returning – but it also caps off a massive run of success for the group. In the past six months the company announced deals with Amadeus and Sabre, CTrip, TravelSky, Google Flights and more. Including the Kayak/ATPCO deal in that list and the company estimates that some 80% of ticket sales will soon have access to its rich content data to further power the merchandising opportunity for airlines and OTAs.
Routehappy, ATPCO and many others in the airline distribution ecosystem have been pushing for years to drive sales beyond just price and schedule. Loyalty programs can have an influence, but it is a small one. Companies such as 30K worked to integrate the frequent flyer data as a rich content option in sales channels and, while the technology mostly works the ability to shift buying habits proved ineffective so far. The Routehappy data, on the other hand, seems to be working. The product photos and videos help to drive upsells into a premium cabin or even just advanced seat selection. The icons comparing legroom or WiFi quality and costs on board can shift a booking to a different carrier. Early data suggests success for the retailers and happier passengers when the trip is over.
Beyond the rich content, air travel retailers also need to evolve their ability to display the data in a clean and easily understandable manner for passengers. The next generation storefront infrastructure that ATPCO is developing delivers on that end of the bargain. A matrix-style of content with little hints as to what’s on offer and bigger details available for clarity or upsells can absolutely change the way consumers think about their flight purchases.
With so many tickets destined to include the rich content perhaps it is time to finally accept the long touted idea that, as Jonathan Savitch, Chief Commercial Officer at ATPCO says, “The days of just using price and schedule to make flight shopping decisions are over.”