Kayak has announced a new partnership with quicket.io which will make flight amenities data available to customers on flight search, across all the metas which fall under Booking Holdings' Kayak unit.
Munich-based Quicket operates as a software-as-a-service provider specializing in the distribution of airline cabin configuration and added services data. It was founded in 2012 by Djois Franklin, previously of Microsoft, and travel-icon Fred Finn, who holds the Guinness World Record holder for most air miles flown.
Quicket got a big boost as a graduate of the Airbus BizLab accelerator program and has collected data on more than 23,000 aircraft flying for more than 400 airlines. The data is managed by self-learning algorithms that can associate the aircraft flying a specific route to display its cabin configuration and experiential features. This data can be exchanged via the Quicket API.
Kayak will make that Quicket data on seat dimensions, WiFi availability and other passenger experience features available on all of its portfolio of brands including KAYAK, momondo, Cheapflights, SWOODOO, checkfelix and Mundi.
Matthias Keller, chief scientist at Kayak, said:
“At Kayak, we understand how important in-flight amenities are when choosing a flight...We want to help take the guesswork out of what you get when you fly and Quicket’s data helps us do that in a seamless way.”
Djois Franklin, co-founder and CEO of QUICKET, adds:
“KAYAK can offer the perfect decision-making tool to its customers for the booking of the ideal flight, while at the same time creating the basis for attractive additional revenues in a market environment characterized by increasing competition.”
Franklin's comment about the "attractive additional revenues" suggests that the partnership also opens up possibilities for airlines to sell ancillaries and branded fares by highlighting alternative product features available.
With this focus on revenue optimisation by better merchandising, Quicket seems to be positioning itself to compete with the likes of Routehappy by ATPCO by offering airlines an opportunity to up-sell based on key experiential features by offering customisable rich content including panoramic views of the cabin interiors. There is a greater push for “live view” seating maps, with Spanish developers at Renacen earning the trust of Emirates with its 3D SeatMap VR product.
Quicket also offers a B2C mobile app to compete with the likes of AppInTheAir, with the advantage of a greater database of up-to-date aircraft cabin data. Like AppInTheAir, the Quicket traveller app allows integration with TripIt by Concur to keep planned flight itineraries up-to-date automatically.
The Quicket mobile interface also allows voice search on the Apple Watch with Siri, with plans to add search to the Samsung Gear S3. The smartphone app includes a chatbot assistant which can find flights and hotels as well as answer basic questions about ticket options, flight status and cabin configuration.
Both mobile apps offer social features with AppInTheAir letting members find each other by proximity and Quicket offering a “Social Seat Map” feature that allows passengers to find fellow travellers on the plane.
Depending on your point of view, that is either very cool or very creepy.
The key take-away from the Kayak/Quicket announcement is that the search space is evolving to offer richer flight data, allowing travelers expect to get a feel for their flight experience before making the booking. We might expect competition to address this need to intensify on both the B2B and B2C side.
Just this March, Hipmunk by Concur added Routehappy UPAs (universal product attributes) and UTAs (universal ticket attributes) to its search results which give travelers greater transparency on the product and lets them make more informed comparisons. Knowing at least the basic features available, is quickly becoming a minimum expectation. Adding rich content allows for greater brand differentiation.
The burning question is when will rich content make its way to Google Flights? The search giant already integrates basic amenities data from Routehappy on search results and helps airlines develop Google Street view panoramic views of their cabins. It would seem they only have to turn a switch to leap ahead.