I thought I would delve into the lifetime of a PNR. Understanding how a PNR changes from initial booking through ticketing to travel can provide a useful insight into agency operations, client profile and traveller behaviour. In this post I’ll compare how the profile of booking volume differs depending on the type of booking agency it’s made with, consultant led business travel agency, OTA or leisure service.
Consultant led business travel agency
This type of agency typifies the consultant led approach by TMCs. The majority of bookings are taken over the phone during the business day. Not surprisingly the booking volume mirrors this with a typical tooth shaped profile.
The mid-week dip is common across TMCs and business travel agencies with most clients prefering to make the intial booking or amendments at the beginnig or end of the week. These early and late peaks have implcations of service levels and resourcing.
The profile here is for a large European based online travel agency which is predominately leisure and SME business travel. The profile is smoothed out without the classic TMC tooth shape of booking volume. There’s much more weekend traffic and the peaks are less regular and defined. If we were to widen the timeframe we would see a similar impact of leisure booking seasonality.
Mantic Point operates the leisure travel concierge service StreamThru. Almost entirely leisure travellers the profile is very different to the consultant led or OTA experience with an irregular pattern that is dominated by significant events (school half term, summer holidays etc) and season activities.
Each of these profiles will impact the service and resources needed for different types of business. For the TMC, whilst providing an online booking tool will be important to its business it’s unlikely to change the nature of how their clients interact with them – they’re often with the TMC because of the personal approach. For the OTA on the other hand high availability of their online booking tools is fundamental to their business 24/7. This impacts the type and skillsets needed to support it.
For the Leisure travel operator the focus will be on managing significant events, family holidays as well as sporting and cultural events.