Monday, April 28, 2008

British Airways gets the X-Factor

The British Airways boys at last week's Travolution Summit premiered a project they are working on with Microsoft.

The audible gasps from some parts of the room when the demo was shown by Carsten Willert and Chris Carmichael indicated that this is A Major Thing for BA and the industry in general.

The company is going beyond selling a single product to creating "experiences". Of course BA has an advantage because of its breadth of product and the soon-to-be-launched dynamic packaging capability.

Nevertheless, it's a big deal. And the fact that an airline has done it is nothing short of extraordinary - bar Expedia's Insprioscope, which of the UK OTAs are heading in this direction.?

But at least the floodgates will probably now open.

"If I was an OTA I'd be shi**ting myself," said one attendee.

Here are some screengrabs from the demo.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

Technorati tags:


Joe Buhler said...

An inevitability! I said five years ago that any supplier could become a dynamic package "tour operator" by selling the additional components to their own. Airlines have been doing that anyway for years with their own holiday brochures. Smart DMOs could actually sell all components this way on their site as well.

Alex said...

I shouldn't worry too much - that project looks like it is being done by someone who doesn't have prior travel website experience.

How can I tell? Well they have misspelt accommodation.

(See "Your accomodation" - bottom button - barcelona screenshot)


If you recall back to the TripAdvisor design mockups.... their designer made the same spelling error...
TripAdvisor design
and when they corrected the spelling it wouldn't fit in the left menu (an m is surprisingly wide).... At least on the BA site its only a button!

Anonymous said...

How many of you were looking for an experience when you were visiting the BA site last...

Last time I was on their site I looked for a FLIGHT... to attend the Travolution event.

but sure I understand airlines need to start making money and making packages will help.

Hoteliers should fight back and make it clear WHY it is better to book direct with them as well!

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous: the point here is that the DP product with BA holidays coming onstream, BA is trying to find a way of making its full-service product much better.

Anonymous said...

You're just teasing us with photos - why no video? :o

Travolution Blogger said...

Anonymous: We're working on it.