Monday, October 23, 2006

Unanswered questions about Meta Pricer

The exclusive lead story in the October edition of the magazine revealed how Amadeus has developed a tool to bridge the gap between meta search companies and suppliers.

What we didn’t add at the time, as the story emerged literally just minutes before we put the October edition to bed, is that the airlines are actually being shifted into a rather nice position.

Amadeus Meta Pricer vastly reduces the strain put on an airline’s systems by travel search engines,” says a press release put out today by Amadeus, confirming our story.

And here’s the crucial bit: “Instead, the airline signals to Meta Pricer which fares and availabilities it wants to make available to which travel search engines. In turn, travel search engines query Amadeus Meta Prcier to retrieve all the flight information for the registered airlines.”

So, in theory, if an airline doesn’t want fares going out to certain meta search engines – if its own website is actually becoming the preferred option, perhaps – then in steps Amadeus to stand in between.

One senior figure has already suggested privately that handing this filtering power to the airlines, so they can decide which meta search companies can access their fares, will have a major impact on the meta search model.

Of course, this is so far only being provided by one of the GDSs – but where one leads, others often follow...

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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