Online & Digital Marketing

Should you sell airline tickets through your property’s website?

Accepting online bookings and making direct online sales are the top priority for any property wanting to increase their income. However, property executives and managers whom, while performing their day-to-day operations, do not pay the necessary attention to the website end of operations, which is not their field of specialty, therefore miss some small but critical details.

You must have also encountered some properties trying to sell airline tickets in addition to property rooms. But to what extent is this the right approach? Should properties be engaged in selling airline tickets through their website in addition to selling their inventory?

To tell the truth, it might even cause a decrease in room sales if they try to sell airline tickets through their website, as a result of lack of knowledge or misguidance. As HotelRunner, we have compiled the things you should know before selling flight tickets through your hotel’s website.

Which channels are preferred for booking flights?

Internet users planning their travels generally prefer airline websites or online travel agencies (OTA) to buy flight tickets. More often than not, this is because they are used to doing so. However, OTAs and airline companies provide their customers with various campaigns and discounts. Also, websites giving information about cheap tickets help users plan their travel in the most advantageous conditions. Therefore, a hotel website is not the first place that customers would look to buy flight tickets.

First transportation, then accommodation

A large majority of those planning a travel get started by arranging the transportation. In other words, they focus on the hotel they are going to stay after they purchase their airline ticket. Therefore, it is not very common for a user planning a travel to purchase an airline ticket through a hotel’s website.

Increasing prices and decreasing sales

The commission fee a property can charge when selling flight tickets through its website is lower than you anticipate, since flight bookings are mostly performed through a different agency’s system. Actually, some systems do not even provide a sales commission. As a result, properties selling flight tickets through their website can only gain a few TL’s when the ticket is sold.

Even if you receive a very small amount of profit from airline ticket sales, many people, who would find your hotel and airport transfer fees reasonable, may find your cost very high once flight ticket prices are added to the total amount.  This can have a negative impact on their decision to purchase your main services like accommodation and transfer. Therefore, it is quite likely for you to lose your potential room sales just for the sake of gaining some low profit from flight tickets.

Service quality

Although your main focus is on accommodation, a customer purchasing an airline ticket from you might want to communicate with you for airline services. Especially a guest who is disappointed with the transportation quality can make things a bit more complicated by expecting you to compensate for a dissatisfactory experience. Moreover, your customer expecting you to serve like a travel agency may request you to change his/her flight legs as well as request to stay at a different hotel even. Regarding these types of expectations, when you sell an airline ticket on your web site, in the scenario where you make the direct sales, you may need an agency certificate of authority depending on your jurisdiction. This may make it mandatory for you to deliver all the legal necessities.

Therefore, you better understand beforehand what the services you offer on your hotel’s website will lead to. HotelRunner is always there for you to carry your hotel to the Internet. Create your HotelRunner account for free now and start earning with online sales immediately.

Rıza Kaynak

Director of Demand

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