If you have flown anywhere in the last decade, you have likely used a third-party site for your travel arrangements. Companies like Expedia or Travelocity allow you to not only book your flight but provide helpful suggestions about tossing in a rental car and hotel along with it. For an extra fee, of course.
When making such plans and preparations, most people don’t necessarily spend the extra time to scour the web for the cheapest flights and thus rely on platforms like CheapTickets and others to do the heavy lifting for them.
Some people, however—those who travel often—have developed a more keen eye and likely noticed price discrepancies between various sites and perhaps wondered why.
What Are These Travel Facilitators, Actually?
There are two specific platforms that can be put in the category of “travel facilitators.”
From an external view, as a consumer, Expedia and CheapTickets seem to be the same in terms of functionality and what they do to provide you with the most inexpensive travel option. Although, on the backend, what they are respectively doing to gather their information is slightly different.
Sites like Expedia and Travelocity are called booking engines. These are more like search engines for travel. Companies such as Delta, American Airlines, Hertz, Enterprise, Hilton, etc. will pay Expedia to be listed on their site.
As a customer, you might think you are getting the cheapest options for all travel by searching Expedia, but in reality, you are getting the options that Expedia has made available for you based on their vendors who have signed up to be listed on the platform.
The other type of facilitator is known as an aggregator. Two of the most popular aggregators out there are Google Flights and CheapTickets. Instead of working with only specific companies, an aggregator will search and scour the entire web and collect up into a whole (aggregate) all the travel options available and allow you to filter based on the cheapest price and other criteria.
Integrations, Aggregators and Booking Engines
Aggregators exist everywhere on the web and aren’t limited to the travel arena alone. Google News and Google Shopping pull data from companies around the world and place them into one space.
To operate at all, both aggregators and booking engines require integrations. Their sites are built on the premise of integrating with known brands across the web. The speed and efficiency of the integration is paramount for both user experience and the company’s bottom line.
MindCloud has developed custom integrations to assist both aggregators and booking engines to connect seamlessly to any desired endpoint. Our mission is to help businesses scale by providing an ease of connectivity without the high expense. Reach out today for a free consultation to see how MindCloud can help you.