Be a business travel or tour, group traveling is always an exciting one. The exhilaration would be much better if the fare and process of group booking are made seamless and faster. As group travel is becoming increasingly popular, airlines should gear up their group booking procedures to serve customers efficiently. Airlines do not require a mere group booking solution but a group booking revenue management system. The advantage of group booking revenue management system lies in providing the right fare to the right group at the right time. The appropriate blend of these three elements is the powerhouse of revenue to the airlines.
On an average, medium sized airline group desk receives around 150 to 200 group request during low demand season and it ranges up to 500 during peak season. Though airline sets the turn around time to be few hours, it takes around two days to process each request. Here, identification of the right fare to be quoted to the right group becomes a mandate that would yield better revenue to the airlines. Depending on various factors such as availability, current load factor, size of the group, requested fare, nature of trip and demand the best fare should be quoted. But the changing nature of all the above mentioned factors makes it difficult for the airlines in decision making to groups. For which a dynamic pricing strategy, speedy processing and altogether an automation is vital.
A dynamic pricing strategy must be applicable to multiple scenarios on the basis of market condition. The challenge of the airlines lie on deciding the fare to be quoted for each group travel request. The travelers now are more keen to negotiate on their group booking and be assured of receiving the best deals. Airlines have to monitor the competitors price as well as evaluate the customer's history to quote a price. Conjointly, there also exists special scenarios where airlines decide on promotional fares and surge fares varying from sectors and season. Since the customers are provided with huge choice and the probability of switching is also too high, group fare negotiations help airlines to retain the customers. It requires a timely decision with a right fare in order to maximize revenue from each group request.
While hundreds of group requests are being showered on the group desk analysts, it consumes huge manpower and time to process them. Prioritisation of the group becomes almost impossible as the processing of group requests begins as in the request arrives. The challenge lies in choosing which group request to be processed first with the appropriate fare. Priority of serving group requests includes not only the volume of passengers traveling but also the revenue and prior client relationship of the airlines. An opportune fare on time and automation in work process are the key to retain internal and external customers.
Considering all the above scenarios, a customer sending group request to two different airlines, one with a manual processing and another with an automated group booking tool. Imagine, it takes one days to obtain a reply from manual processing while it takes an hour from an automated group booking solution. That's where the power of automation lies. !! While myriad obstacles are being put forth to an airline front. If there could be any one stop solution to all the problems being posed, then bringing an automation to the process becomes the answer.