Friday, April 3, 2009
Beyond Baggage and Seats
I participated at three sessions focused on ancillary revenue during the past two days at TravelCom in Atlanta. Most striking was the inability to agree on what "Ancillary Revenue" actually means among travel distributors! For the GDS, it means selling unbundled products and services. An hour on monetizing checked baggage and seat selection. Sheesh! NOT remarkable. Another hour was spent listening the airline innovators talk about....monetizing checked baggage and seat selection. Hoo boy! Finally, at the last session on the last day (!) four execs spoke about add-ons like customized insurance (think Hyundai's creative marketing - if you lose your job, we'll take the car back...how about travel insurance that guarantees that for upcoming trips!); publishing opportunties to leverage eCommerce audience (gee, isn't that what the OTAs are doing? Listen up, Suppliers); product/service add-ons in the buying path; and perhaps even "car-vertising" using travel product to cross-sell other product. (Worked for W Hotels). Partnering with the right folks who can execute on the product/service is key. And there are plenty of success stories out there. I'll be publishing links to many of them in the coming days, and feel free to share successful (or disastrous) ancillary revenue stories with this blog.