In recent years, travel agents’ reliance on software has grown substantially, especially when it comes to reducing manual back and mid-office workload through automation.
However, series bookings have always stuck out as a sore spot, given how complicated they are to automate. Each of the travel agent’s subagents needs personalized markups. The travel agent needs to know the best price and time to sell their inventory. Besides, the subagents could complicate things by making multiple bookings with the same PNR. The travel agent must also spend hours updating customers’ names manually in the airline database. As a result of these factors, travel agents need a comprehensive automation solution for handling series bookings.
In this blog, travel agents can learn the following:
- What are series bookings
- What are the issues that arise when series bookings are handled manually
- How series bookings can be automated
- What are the benefits of automating the series booking process
What is a series booking?
A series booking is a pre-purchase of a group of seats repeatedly for the same flight. This allows travel agents to reserve a set number of seats on a specific flight for a period, such as during a sports season or holiday period. This can be useful for travel agents who know there will be a consistent demand for those flights, as it eliminates the need to make individual bookings every time that they receive a customer request.
Major issues plaguing travel agents who distribute series inventory manually
The travel industry has seen a resurgence that has surpassed most predictions. Companies are eagerly starting business travel programs and sending employees on MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing & exhibitions) trips. Regular people are also traveling in droves to traditional tourist places and new locales, largely driven by the desire to make up for the time they lost due to two-year-long lockdowns.
Given the volume of bookings made in recent times, several issues associated with the series booking process seriously limit travel agents’ earning potential.
When travel agents rely on spreadsheets to distribute their inventory to their subagents, they run into the following issues.
- Inability to apply personalized markups depending on the subagent
- Inability to accurately determine the demand for the tickets to set optimal prices
- Inability to track travel agency performance in real-time
- The painful process of following up with each customer for name updating
- The tedious and time-consuming process of updating passenger information in the airline database
Inability to prevent subagents from making multiple bookings with the same PNR, leading to confusion, and wasted time
How the series booking process can be automated and pain-free
Since series bookings have the potential to generate a lot of revenue, travel agents need a solution to operate all the mundane tasks associated with it so they can avoid feeling overwhelmed on high-demand days.
The travel agents need to be able to instantly upload their series inventory onto the solution from their spreadsheets with a few clicks.
Once the inventory is transferred to the solution, travel agents can allow their subagents to make bookings through their own portals. Each time the subagent makes a booking, it is done via a unique PNR, ensuring that multiple reservations aren’t made with the same PNR. As each subagent has their own portal, you can charge markups based on your relationship with them. Importantly, you can set your prices in tune with market demand, leading to higher revenue.
Another key aspect of series bookings that can be automated with software is updating passenger names. As and when customers make a booking via the subagent, you will be updated on the PNRs that have been used up, along with the passenger details. Those details can then be transferred in bulk to the airlines’ database without manually typing in each detail.
Using a solution with these functionalities, travel agents can automate most of the series booking process, distribute their inventory globally to subagents with a unique PNR each time and optimize their revenue with markups and real-time pricing.
AgencyAuto series booking software has been built keeping in mind ambitious travel agents who want to maximize their revenue by automating their operations. Usually, managing series bookings can be a hassle, but with the right software, travel agents can effortlessly upload inventory, distribute it to subagents, and apply optimal markups. Also, in real-time, travel agents can keep track of their agency’s bookings, cancelations, and overall performance. Contact us for a demo if you want to streamline your series booking process.