APEX Insight: Fareportal becomes the first consumer booking channel to provide media-rich search results down to the exact seat.
UPAs, which are powered by the Routehappy Hub content management system, provide visually appealing media such as photos, videos, and 360-degree cabin tours; as well as descriptions of an airline’s products and services based on specific aircraft type, cabin, time of day, and more. Fareportal can now show seat images across different sub-fleets and cabins so consumers see only accurate and relevant UPAs for the specific flight they are interested in. While Amadeus and Expedia use Routehappy UPAs, this level of exact-seat specificity is a first.
“Fareportal is always looking for ways to incorporate next generation features into the flight shopping experience,” said Sam S. Jain, Fareportal’s founder and CEO. “As the first consumer booking channel to integrate UPAs into our seat map, we are providing our customers with more choice, greater transparency and added value. Fareportal will continue to push new integrations that make our customers’ flight shopping experience easier.”
According to Jonathan Savitch, chief commercial officer at Routehappy, Fareportal’s seat map shows that the retailing of flights is only getting stronger: “We were delighted at the sheer breadth of carriers covered and Fareportal’s commitment to simple, value added use cases.”
Early Days for UPAs
The perennial challenge for multimedia search is getting enough data to provide meaningful results that also take advantage of multimedia capability. Not every carrier provides the same level of accuracy across every possible deal-making or -breaking aspect of the flight. As content quality and breadth increase, the cycle of technology and customer expectations fueling each other continues.
“We’re still at early stages of transforming flight shopping,” Savitch told APEX Media. “Many airlines don’t have all the media or messaging. Seats are generally well covered and we’re quickly rounding out the meal data. After all, wouldn’t it be great to know the seat and meal by flight?”