I just found out earlier today that the highly respected former CEO of Amadeus, and now it’s current Chairman, José Antonio Tazón , was appointed to the board of Expedia less than 2 weeks ago. I actually walked past him outside a meeting room in the office only last week and now wish I had known this at the time as it would have made for a very interesting conversation. At least my recent posts (original, followup) were overwhelmingly positive on Expedia, and the only real question I had was for my airline customers using Expedia private label / white label websites for hotels, rental cars etc; a question about ensuring that they were also benefitting from what I described in the original post last week as “impressive innovation at Expedia.”
Way back (well, January this year) when I started this blog I said I would close it down before I was forced to retrect my opinions. The news above came to me by chance, and no-one asked me to mention it, but I will say now that it would probably be prudent of me to add Expedia to my list of companies where critical analysis of their activities should be kept to a minimum; but the good thing is that this in no way stops me discussing them here in more general tones.
Along that line, I am currently working with one small airline on some innovative ways of increasing the amount of ancillary revenue they generate from their current private-label contract with Expedia. I’ve also got Isango who are very keen to do exactly the same thing with their airline clients using the technology I’ve currently got a team working on implementing for various airlines. My goal with this technology is to make the point that optimizing ancillary revenue is not just for the big airlines with multi-million dollar website budgets, but that every airline can be doing things that cost much less to implement – but still yield a very impressive ROI. I’ll be talking more on this theme when I am in a position to share actual results from my trial airline, but at the end of the day it will be all about using Amadeus technology to increase airline ancillary revenue; and as a side effect in this one particular case, Expedia will generate more non-air bookings.