Wotflight Still Awaiting Takeoff

logo - wotflight.comIT’S been a slow start for Wotif.com’s flight booking offshoot, Wotflight.com, which in aviation terms is still trundling down the runway. Recent stats from Experian Hitwise shows that Wotflight.com clocked in at #389 on the Top 500 websites in May with an online travel market share of 0.03%, the same as ‘Andrew’s Airport Parking’.

It picked up some pace in June (#252 with .042%) but was down again last week. Some basic calculations cross-referenced with Google Trends arrives at a traffic estimate for Wotflight.com of less than 2000 visits a day.

You wouldn’t have thought that was in the business plan when the site launched in February. At the time Wotif Group CEO Robbie Cooke said: “We think this new initiative will be very appealing to the 3.8 million visitors who come to Wotif.com every month.”

Not so far.

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3 thoughts on “Wotflight Still Awaiting Takeoff”

  1. WotFlight is a very valuable website to compare flight options, schedules and prices between a whole host of Australia’s domestic operators. But after finding the flight you want, who would pay an additional $16.95 per reservation to go through their system? Simply go directly to the website of your selected airline and book online there. Plus booking with the airline directly allows you more flexibility (and cheaper costs) when making changes/cancellations.

    In reality, WotFlight should have been modelled on “WotIf” – i.e. last minute discount accommodation, but apply it to airfares. It’s no use exactly mirroring the airfares from the provider’s website if all you to is charge that plus a significant booking fee. On the other hand, imagine if WotFlight offered last minute airfares that you just couldn’t get directly with the airlines? Then the $16.95 booking fee would be happily paid by most!

  2. Good points Jamie. BUT the truth of the matter is that the surviving airlines are really big businesses that have known for a very long time how to manage their yield (profitablility).

    Unlike accommodation sellers who did not realise the blind alley they were going down, airlines are far too smart to train their customers to book late in order to get a cheaper price.

    With airlines the rule is; the sooner you buy the seat the cheaper the seat will be. When the cheaper prices are gone, the more you have to pay for exactly the same seat. It is called supply and demand.

    Then the airlines consolidate their flights to make sure the plane is as full as possible.

    Best option for the traveller is to get an instant purchase dynamic price flight/accommodation package deal where the componant prices are hidden and everybody wins.

  3. Maybe a possible option for WotFlight is instead of charging a booking fee, simply charge an annual member access fee to just use the airline comparison tool.

    After all, using WotFlight definitely saves time by allowing you to find a flight at a suitable time and price rather than visiting a bunch of separate websites to compare, but it’s not going to save you money if you’re paying a booking fee. And most people aren’t going to do that final step of booking with WotFlight – they’ll just use WotFlight to find the best flight for them, then they’ll book direct with the airline in question. And I’m speaking from personal experience here.

    The paid access to the flight comparison tool would be particularly useful for business people, people who organise corporate travel, regular travellers and travel agents, as they would definitely be saving time, and time is money.

    Other options could include dropping the booking fee to such a small amount that people would use it rather than spending a minute going directly to the airline’s own website to book – maybe something like $2 a flight. Or maybe something like book 2 flights a year through WotFlight and any additional flights are free of booking fees.

    In summary, I think WotFlight have built a fantastic flight comparison tool, and it’s surprisingly quick, but I can’t imagine it being profitable unless the booking charges are altered.

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