funflyer
Posts: 817
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 4:53 am

Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:14 am

Did anyone else notice that most of the airlines want you to book online. And offer lower fares and bonus miles.
Airlines even want you to check-in buy yourself and offer more bonus miles.


Why do they want to limit interaction between you and there employees?

Who cares about status?
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:16 am

Because their employees cost money. The less of them you need, the better for profits.

Easyjet now only ever accepts phone bookings for groups, I believe.
 
funflyer
Posts: 817
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 4:53 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:17 am

Yes thats true but they pay there employees by the hour not the call so they still pay. Don't they?
Who cares about status?
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:18 am

That's because if you book online, they don't have to pay someone at the reservations center their little commission for selling seats. Further, if you use online or self-service checkin, they don't have to pay as many ticket-counter agents. Just one for every four check-in kiosks.

By the way: Don't use NW self-service check-in at EWR. I stood around for fifteen minutes waiting for them to take my checked luggage while others got ahead of me. Every time I spoke up, no one paid any attention.

CO at SEA, on the other hand, was precisely the opposite experience.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
Ikarus
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Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:20 am

Funflyer: One of the things Easyjet did after taking over Go was firing most of their telephone sales staff. You need less staff if more people book online.
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:21 am

Yes thats true but they pay there employees by the hour not the call so they still pay. Don't they?

You're forgetting something: If they book 10% more seats after setting-up website sales, but now 40% of their tickets are booked via the web, then they can employ fewer people at the res center.

Same goes for check-in. They can process just as many passengers with fewer agents.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
StevenUhl777
Posts: 3281
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:21 am

Probably for a number of reasons:
- Most fliers have internet access and prefer doing as much online as possible, to make things simple.
- Fliers don't want to hassle with lines at check in, which is why they offer the easy check in machines.
- COST: cheaper for the airlines to have everything done online to save having to hire an employee
- So that you deal DIRECTLY with the airline, not through an intermediary that they have to pay commission to. This whole thing started when airlines decided to cut/eliminate travel agent commissions.
- So that frequent fliers don't have to wait on hold when making reservations

I'm sure there's many more!

And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 5:23 am

It is the trend of the times. They stopped paying travel agents commission so another cost savings, less res staff another cost savings, less res centers another cost savings, more self serve check in machines, more cost savings, boarding pass readers at the gates more cost savings, where and when will it end, it is here to stay.....
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
AA737-823
Posts: 4897
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:36 am

Southwest claims that it costs the company less than $1 to book a reservation online. On the other hand, it costs them $6 to comission a travel agent. Their telephone sales reps fall somewhere in between.

So- they save big money over at Southwest with their online bookings.

R
 
cmckeithen
Posts: 594
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2003 9:31 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 8:17 am

CO is the best airline when it comes to serivce and low cost fares.
 
DoorsToManual
Posts: 1453
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 12:28 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 8:23 am

On the other hand, it costs them $6 to comission a travel agent

Why not cut the travel agents out altogether? I believe that's what Ryanair and easyjet have done, and it hasn't hurt sales at all.
 
fly727
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:27 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 8:33 am

As said many times above: It costs less money:

1. Reduced reservations staff
2. No commission to travel agencies
3. Reduced paperwork (they just issue a boarding pass. No ticket necessary).

Also.... They are also looking for new ways of advertising their services; as you provide an e-mail address when you book, most probably they will send you afterwards -a potential traveler- some specials.

Cmckeithen: I agree with you. Their website and fares are the best on-line.

RM
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
tekelberry
Posts: 1309
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 6:37 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 8:37 am

CO is the best airline when it comes to serivce and low cost fares.

Aside from that being completely opinionated, that isn't relevant at all.
 
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airzim
Posts: 1214
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2001 7:40 am

RE: Why Do Airlines Want You To Book Online?

Sat Aug 09, 2003 8:48 am

As others have stated above it is related to costs but the biggest one hasn't been mentioned yet, distribution costs.

On top of travel agent commissions, everytime you make a booking through one of the many world-wide GDS's there's a cost to the airline. It is generally in cents for each RPB-Revenue Passenger Boarded. Each of those costs add up to millions a year in distribution costs. If you make a web booking on www.ba.com the booking is made in the host system and it saves that penny.

The internet has also presented quite a few problems for airlines. In RES and GDS systems the airlines know where you are based on the IATA sign in of the agent. Airlines can bias availability for certain countries and not others if they want more revenue from a different station. With the internet that goes all away, no way of knowing that the passenger making a booking from LHR-CDG is in London, Paris, Sydney or Khartoum. That is scaring the crap out of them.

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