Questioning the travel industry status quo, one blog post at a time

An effective airline merchandising program showcases your brand, delights your customers, and grows both revenue and loyalty.  But effective airline merchandising is not easy to accomplish.  Embracing value-added services, personalization, and New Distribution Capability (NDC) requires innovation on many levels, from strategy to technology.


Farelogix is pleased to announce Dan McKone of L.E.K. Consulting and Jeff Hong of Hawaiian Airlines will both speak at the Ancillary Master Class on August 31st, 2015. Dan McKone is a Managing Director with L.E.K. Consulting, as well as a Partner and member of L.E.K.’s Global Leadership Team.  He currently heads the firm’s Retail Sector and Head of Travel/Lodging in the Americas.  He has directed more than 300 projects spanning corporate strategy, new concept development, and channel strategy, pricing and positioning.

Jeff Hong is currently the Director of Commercial Applications with Hawaiian Airlines.  After a successful tour-of-duty with the United States Army, a period working with a technology startup, and working with Microsoft, he returned to his home state of Hawaii.  At Hawaiian he specializes in delivering cutting edge solutions for the airline.

It is not too late to sign up for the Merchandising Master Class.  For more information, please click here.  If you would like to register for the event, please click here.

After attending the Merchandising Master Class, please be sure to attend Airline Information’s 2nd Annual Mega Event Asia Pacific 2015.  This conference will bring together industry stakeholders responsible for merchandising to discuss the latest trends, best practices, actionable strategies and insights.

Last month, Farelogix hosted its Merchandising Master Class as part of Airline Information’s (AI) Mega Event in Barcelona, Spain. Farelogix representatives brought together industry thought leaders, top airline performers, and technology solution providers to discuss merchandising with the standing-room-only crowd. These Master Class events, which have become a staple of AI’s Mega Event series, have been conducted all over the world – from Singapore to New Orleans.

Recognizing that designing and implementing an effective airline merchandising program requires innovation on many levels, the Barcelona workshop explored the entire end-to-end process with a focus on taking action – from strategy to execution. Real case studies and hands-on technology approaches were used to tackle the full spectrum of successful merchandising including: differentiating your product and brand; tips to create and optimize the best offer; and insights on New Distribution Capability (NDC) and related technologies that can help you get to market quickly with the highest flexibility, efficiency and revenue per passenger.

Jim Davidson, President of Farelogix, kicked off the event with his presentation: “Merchandising Call to Action: Are You Leaving $15 Per Passenger On The Table?” Read the rest of this entry »

FLX-M Use Case Challenge

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, spring is here! The temperature is warming, and the snow is finally melting. It was a great winter if you love skiing and sledding, but it was quite miserable for airlines trying to run on schedule. The delays and cancellations added up quickly, leaving passengers frustrated and airlines stretched to accommodate everyone. And while the good news is that the weather is getting better, there will still be storms, equipment troubles, and a myriad reasons why flights get delayed and canceled.

As an airline there’s often nothing you can do about such troubles, but your customers usually don’t see it that way. You can however make the rebooking and re-accommodation process as simple and pain-free as possible. This is exactly where FLX Merchandise can help.

Today, most airlines send emails and/or text messages to impacted travelers and those messages are usually limited to two choices for the travelers: 1) go with the auto-rebook on another flight (chosen by default by the airline), or 2) please call customer service.

But with the power of FLX Merchandise and personalization, a “Recovery Package” can be offered to the traveler that can turn a negative, frustrating situation into a positive experience with the airline—and we all know how word-of-mouth can impact customers’ feelings towards an airline. Read the rest of this entry »

An effective airline merchandising program showcases your brand, delights your customers, and grows both revenue and loyalty.  But effective airline merchandising is not easy to accomplish.  Embracing value-added services, personalization, and New Distribution Capability (NDC) requires innovation on many levels, from strategy to technology.


We invite you to attend a one-of-a-kind master class, dedicated to exploring what it takes to successfully grow happy customers and more revenue through effective merchandising and value-added services.

At Merchandising and NDC: The Path to Happy Customers and More Revenue, we will tackle the full, end-to-end process of merchandising and personalization, including how to differentiate your product and brand, creating and optimizing the best offer, leveraging NDC, and understanding what technologies can help your airline stand apart while increasing revenue per passenger. Read the rest of this entry »

FLX-M Use Case Challenge

Corporate travel is the lifeblood for many airlines. With competition heating up with differentiators like more comfortable seats, additional legroom, and countless other value-added services, how the airline retains its corporate clients—or woos them from a competitor—is more strategic than ever before.

Just think, not so long ago, in the pre-NDC, pre-merchandising world, the only option for airlines seeking to accomplish a “differentiated corporate product” was to file private/negotiated fares for corporate clients via ATPCO. The extent of the differentiation was the filed fare itself, which was special for that corporation. Missing from that picture was the myriad of other services and privileges negotiated for that corporate client. Rather than competing on a customized, relevant offer of services, airlines were stuck competing strictly on a number and a fare basis code.  Fortunately, those days are behind us. Today, using sophisticated merchandising systems such as FLX Merchandise, airlines can configure customized offers that go far beyond a filed fare and include a series of bundled services or options most relevant for that trip, corporation, and traveler. Let’s look at a couple related Use Case Challenge examples. Read the rest of this entry »

FLX-M Use Case Challenge

There are many universal truths in life: money isn’t everything, laughter is the best medicine, and so on. I think another one is that people really love a good meal. And for decades another universal truth was that airplane food was bad. But that’s all changing! Today, airline meal options are plentiful and tasty. Airlines are going gourmet and some even have culinary delights from celebrity chefs!

The power of meals to differentiate an airline’s brand – and drive revenue – has made this a popular Use Case topic, and so we’ve decided to feature an example. So, how does an airline approach premium meals for Economy Cabin?

Like any product offering, there are a few basic questions for the airline to answer. In this case, things like:  What meals will the airline offer? In what conditions does a particular meal make it onto the menu (based on markets, flights, regions, etc.)? And what—if anything—will the airline charge for the meals, taking into account personalization and loyalty status? Each of these “answers” are is easily configured in FLX Merchandise, which will then drive the business rules engine to pass the correct offer or choices to the airline’s point-of-sale using standardized XML web services. Let’s take a quick look. Read the rest of this entry »

FLX-M Use Case Challenge

Airline Merchandising isn’t always about creating value by selling additional products and services. Very often, using merchandising to reward loyalty can be just as beneficial. Loyal and high-value customers often expect a certain level of service, and retaining these customers by providing certain perks can be extremely valuable. This brings us to today’s Use Case Challenge…

Today’s Challenge: Chauffeur Services

In this example, an airline wants to offer chauffeur drive services at departure and arrival for travelers in the first- and business-class cabins who have the highest level of frequent flier status. In this example, we’ll focus on the arrival portion of the offer. Let’s see how this looks in the offer designer…

Follow the JFK – * node to the 0.00 USD node. In this scenario, the service is offered at no charge for those travelers in first and business class, who also are members of the Tier 1 frequent flier program. Read the rest of this entry »


FLX-M Use Case Challenge

Ancillary revenue has become key to airline success, with almost $50 billion in revenue projected in 2014. As luck would have it, we have an award-winning airline merchandising engine (FLX Merchandise) that is helping a number of airlines grow revenue and make customers happy. Among all the cool features of FLX Merchandise, without a doubt, the one that always tops the list among our airline users is flexibility. It’s always fun to demonstrate how new products and services can be introduced in a matter of minutes (not months!), without hard coding and without the overhead of administrating a static product catalog.

In fact, showcasing the flexibility is how we came up with the very first FLX Merchandise Use Case Challenge. There we were, leading a Merchandising Master Class in Singapore, and we thought, “Why not try a live on-the-spot challenge?” So about five minutes into the event, we invited about 100 merchandising managers to submit ideas and strategies for merchandising. What do you want to offer, to whom, and how? We were impressed by the creativity of the submissions—some of these people were really thinking outside the box! Read the rest of this entry »

FLX Ancillary AwardGuess what? Our friends at United Airlines nominated the FLX Merchandise product in the Airline Information 2014 Mega Event Awards for Innovation of the Year – and we won! This is news our entire company is thankful for as we head into the holiday season!

We were nominated in the Ancillary Revenue and Merchandising category based on United’s cross-channel use of our Farelogix FLX Merchandise product. United set the stage for us to win by highlighting how we’ve helped them achieve their lofty goal of increasing ancillary revenue by 11% per passenger in Q3 2014, and generating revenues of $3 billion in 2014 from ancillary sales of a variety of products and services, including Economy Plus seats, priority boarding, bags, and various subscriptions.

United hosts the FLX Merchandise product and has integrated it directly into their technology stack. This allows them to quickly and efficiently update product pricing, add new products and services, and continuously optimize their offers. FLX Merchandise also generates offers for United’s Economy Plus seats across channels including through the GDS, allowing travel management partners and travel agencies to seamlessly book extra legroom seats. Read the rest of this entry »

What? Seriously? Am I going to start bucking the conventional wisdom of an airline fare already? Slow down… we are all just fresh off IATA NDC-a-palooza in San Diego where everyone and their aunt was testifying to how ready they are for NDC.

So with the NDC Acceptance Position now a badge of honor (or of courage, for us early supporters), you bet I am taking on the concept of a “fare” because not only is the airline industry no longer just about “fares and schedules,” the very nature and concept of an “airline fare” is now in question.

Ok, I’ll be gentle and do my best to be brief because it may take a bit of time for this to sink in…at least it did for me, but when it did, boy, did the light bulb go off!

FLX-M Still

This new way of thinking is about creating truly dynamic bundles containing what we would traditionally know as a “fare” along with certain ancillaries, where the “fare” is treated as a “service item” within the actual bundle, similar to the ancillaries themselves.  Read the rest of this entry »