‘Power Users’ in the consumer vacation travel market have known about ways to hack airline pricing for quite some time. But now, modern technology like Google flight search has made the process very easy. While vacation travelers are often very price conscious, travel procurement professionals can manage tens of millions of dollars in category spend. It stands to reason that as airline pricing strategies become even more complex then companies will also seek out technologies that better manage this complexity. Tnooz recently outlined a few of these enterprise travel ‘hacking’ aspects like controlling the user’s IP address or breaking group bookings into single people.
While clever in theory, it creates a far larger hurdle in organization change management and end user training. At some point technology will identify and automate the end user’s decision process by directing them along the appropriate path. Until then these strategies are best kept for the travel agencies within your managed travel programs of large enterprises. Those in the SMB or the lower end of LME adopt some of these practices, especially since they don’t run the risk of upsetting established vendor contracts.