Data revealed by Expedia shows that only 20% of customers buy the cheapest flight in their search results as customers are “looking for something different”.
Speaking to journalists at Expedia’s press day in London, Julie Kyse, vice president of the Americas, Europe and the Middle East at the global OTA said Expedia has been working to make its search results more informative.
“Customers are looking for something different,” she said. “They want to know the all-in price. We think it’s really important that the customer understands that if they have to pay for a carry-on that’s part of the price.
“It’s not as easy as you’d think because we work with 475 different airlines.”
Expedia now has a breakdown of baggage costs, details of amenities like Wi-Fi and scores flights on an out-of-ten rating system.
Kyse said a low lead-in price also offered airlines the opportunity to upsell to customers and said the site will be using rich content and pictures of destinations to help inspire customers to go there.
“This is something airlines have been asking for,” she added.
Following a deal with tech firm Sabre, the booking engine now gives passengers the option to pay a premium (usually $34) to book a specific seat at the point of sale.
Kyse also said Expedia’s introduction of rail bookings is set to expand into Europe – although could not give specific countries – and hopes to eventually take the offering global. Commissions for the service, introduced first in the UK in July this year, she said were “competitive” and at similar rates to what hotels pay for referrals.