q Delta.com Lets You Book Everything At Once – Cranky Flier

Delta.com Lets You Book Everything At Once

Delta, Distribution

I’d say this one falls in the “Why didn’t this happen before?” category. Last week, Delta announced that they’ve implemented the ability to book airline, hotel, and car rental from a single shopping cart. This is the first time I’ve seen it from a US airline, and it makes a lot of sense.

When I travel, I generally make airline reservations first. I’m not sure why, maybe I just think that there will always be enough hotel options at different rates while airline tickets could fluctuate so much that it could make or break the trip. So if I’m booking airline tickets first, that means the airline sites may have the first opportunity to sell me on hotels and car rentals.

Airlines have offered the ability to book hotels and car rentals for some time, but it’s not done well. The way it is now, when you book your ticket, you then have to do a completely separate search for hotels and pay separately. I’m not going to bother, because I can just go to other sites that I use frequently.

But now, as soon as you have your ticket reserved, Delta will show you hotels and car rentals before you buy the ticket. When you pick one, it puts it in the shopping cart with your ticket and you check out by entering your credit card only once. Online travel agents learned this was lucrative long ago. Any time you go to Orbitz, Expedia, or the like, you’ll notice they push you pretty hard to buy a vacation package. So why has it taken so long for the airlines to get onboard?

Who knows. But once again Delta is doing something smart online. I’m impressed to see them leading the pack with things like this, Siteseer, and the Change site (even if that implementation wasn’t done very well. Keep up the good work.

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2 comments on “Delta.com Lets You Book Everything At Once

  1. Notwithstanding Delta’s innitiative and foresight, and I don’t want to diminish their approach at convenience, I prefer to book hotel & car separately. Unlike air travel, the major hotel and car rental companies only charge you for the service at the time it is rendered (or in accordance with their guarantee/cancellation policy).

    Why give them your cash upfront, airline cancellation and refund policies are stringent enough, why restrict all your options.

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