Running a home-grown reservations and booking management system has proven efficient for Allegiant over the years. But the intended joint venture with Viva Aerobus demands an upgrade. In early filings the carrier suggested it would not invest that cash without approval for the JV.
That no longer appears to be the case. The company is investing some $15 million now to implement the Navitaire platform, in anticipation of that approval. And it looking at some other interesting opportunities as a result.
Allegiant typically operates any given route only on limited days of the week. For travelers looking to book a longer or shorter trip – any travel on an “off day” – the company loses out on that potential ticket sale. And, more importantly to the business model, it loses out on the associated hotel, rental car, and other ancillary bookings.
EVP and Chief Marketing Officer Scott DeAngelo recently described what he sees as a “radical idea” that could open up some of those trips to Allegiant, once it has Navitaire active.
“A big issue we face when travelers only book one way with us is there’s no attachment of a hotel or rental car. And it is worth it for me to be disruptive,” DeAngelo explained during the Future Travel Experience Global Conference earlier this year. “While I may not be in the majority at Allegiant,” DeAngelo continued, “I certainly am in favor of offering at non-competitive days and times other airlines’ [flights] to supplement our schedule. I can give all the money from the fare to the other airline, but I’m going to book the room and the rental car.”
Allegiant is a big fan of those bundled extras on bookings. The company derives a higher share of revenue from those offers than perhaps any other US carrier. Gaining more opportunities to sell them is a big win for the airline, even if it means giving up some of the airfare component.
There are, of course, complexities with multi-carrier itineraries. Those grow when the other airline might not want to offer its inventory via a third party airline’s website, even if collecting the full revenue component from the passenger, via Allegiant, for the trip. After all, if Allegiant is collecting on that hotel and rental car bookings then the other airline does not get that opportunity.
There are also third party solutions that enable “virtual” interline offerings, handling the interactions between the airlines and the customer support requirements. This can further ease the technical challenges, albeit at a small premium.
To be clear, there is no guarantee this will happen. Even if it does, DeAngelo admits “this is not imminent.” He would still have to convince others within Allegiant to go along with the idea, as well as secure the agreements to sell the other airline flights.
But the potential upside, should it come to pass, is significant. And it would be an easier way to enable “off day” operations than Allegiant flying those in the schedule.
More news from Future Travel Experience Global 2022
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- Allegiant plans more Extra on 737 MAX fleet
- JSX details Starlink aircraft activation plans
- Is Allegiant ready to add inflight WiFi?
- Alaska Airlines going digital to slash bag check-in time
- Allegiant flips its digital marketing focus
- Seeking a connected aircraft timeline
- Air Europa adding NFTicket platform
- Could Allegiant deliver an interline win?
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