By Courtney Trenwith
Alliance, which will soon include Qatar Airways, creates ‘faster, easier’ multi-airline booking engine
Oneworld, which is to include Qatar Airways from October 30, has launched the first multi-airline, round-the-world booking app for tablet computers.
The development is part of the alliance’s program to upgrade the booking facilities for its flagship Explorer fare, which allows customers to book multiple tickets to any of the 850 destinations serviced by the member airlines.
A statement issued by the alliance says the app, available on iPads and Android tablets, as well as desktop and laptop computers, makes booking the round-the-world fare easier and faster.
Customers can build their itinerary by typing a city name or clicking on destinations displayed on the interactive map.
The system automatically checks availability and displays available flights. It also validates that the itinerary meets all the oneworld Explorer fare rules and conditions - and then provides an instant price.
Customers can book up to 16 sectors in any seat class.
Unlike other round-the-world fares, oneworld Explorer's price is based on the number of continents visited (three to six), not the mileage flown.
Oneworld vice president commercial Stephen Usery said oneworld was the first alliance, and the first in the travel industry, to offer multi-airline, round-the-world tickets for sale online five years ago.
“Now we are the first to offer the facility via tablets – which are increasingly the computers of choice for the frequent international travellers, who are oneworld's prime target market," Usery said.
Oneworld is the only airline alliance that includes an airline in Australia (Qantas, which also has a significant partnership with Dubai-based Emirates Airline), one of the ‘big three Gulf carriers’ (Qatar Airways) and a carrier in the Indian sub-continent (Sri Lankan Airlines), as well as the largest carrier in South America (LAN).
Royal Jordanian also is due to join the alliance later this year.