web Musings of The Global Traveller

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oneworld round the world booking tool

Late last year Oneworld launched an online oneworld explorer planning and booking tool. Star Alliance have had an online round the world planning tool for a couple of years, and more recently planning tools for other Star Alliance fare products. The Star Alliance tool does not allow for direct booking online - instead you have to submit the prepared itinerary to an airline or travel agent for them to book it for you. The oneworld tool thus in theory offers some advantages - availability is checked on the fly and no messing around contacting an airline or travel agent to make the payment and get it ticketed.

However, in practice the Oneworld tool seems to be buggy. Two relevant discussion threads on Flyer Talk illustrate some of the many issues - main xONEx online tool discussion thread (NB xONEx is shorthand for this particular round the world fare to differentiate it from the other Oneworld round the world global explorer fare, xGLOBxx), and xONEx online tool bugs.

I think the tool has a lot of potential in making the fare more accessible to consumers. However, Oneworld needs to make the tool more robust. Many people will be discouraged by the various errors (and some of these prevent booking valid itineraries because it is the tool that is in error).

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