Inside Online Travel Portals
IXIGO a recent entrant has conveniently positioned itself as a pure ‘No-Nonsense’ search engine. It has introduced a new feature that will allow the users to search comparative rates among the major players - Yatra, Cleartrip and MakeMyTrip. Aloke Bajpai, the dynamic CEO of IxIGo and a personal friend, intends to offer its users total transparent deals. Drawn on the lines of Kayak.com, metasearch capabilities of IXIGO has already taken the company places. The user has the option to perform a live comparison from Yatra, Cleartrip & MakeMyTrip. The users have to simply click the three checkboxes while searching for the airfares on IXIGO itself.
This is an excellent feature!
Cleartrip on the other hand has launched Cleartrip graphs that provide users with indicative prices across range of dates for 9 different airlines. This will help users to find the cheapest fare rates across different carriers. This is a good feature but how many users would like to analyze pricing trends?
What is expected out of the Travel Search engines?
Taking into consideration the demographics of Indian market and the rural/urban population mix; the following (popular) parameters define the basics for the travel search engines.
- Cheapest fare search
- Flight options and connections
- Easy to use (User Interface)
- Ancillary services/Content
Final Verdict: It is difficult to judge or come to a conclusion based on couple of searches across multiple sites. However, it seems that there is tremendous scope for improvement, it is imperative that you got to have tie-ups and partnerships with different carriers to get the best rates. The newer search portals are quite user friendly and give you a much better user experience. However, when it comes to rates the older players still rule the roost.