TripBam, FairFly Venture Deeper Into Competitive Territory

Sara G. Norris

As TripBam and FairFly each branch out into one another’s territory, leaders of both platforms recently said they plan to continue to expand to cover a wider spectrum of travel management needs.

For its newly launched air solution, TripBam currently has eight clients going into production, and it expects to add about another dozen between now and the end of the year, founder and CEO Steve Reynolds said. As with TripBam’s solution for hotel stays, its air solution at its heart offers airfare reshopping, automated so that rates can be rebooked within seconds without the need for an agent to ensure savings are captured within the void window, he said. 

With early clients, Reynolds said, TripBam has found lower airfares about 17 percent of the time, largely within the void window, with savings averaging about $70 each time they are found. With international business travel limited at the moment, most of that is based on domestic tickets, so the average savings likely will be higher once a higher percentage of international tickets are in the mix. The pure savings, however, is only part of TripBam’s strategy on the air side.

“That’s nice and easy money, but we’re taking it quite a bit further,” Reynolds said. “Since we’re going to reshop and capture data at the point of sale, we decided to do more with it than just reshop.”

The real savings, Reynolds said, will come through TripBam’s sourcing solution around air. The company already has launched a benchmarking tool and is offering a new metric: “lowest qualified fare,” which compares what a traveler booked in their corporate program to what the lowest fare they could have received without that corporate program. That gives buyers a more accurate picture of savings than seeing what they would have saved versus full price, refundable fares, he said.

TripBam also is using client benchmarking data to give users reports on marketshare with carriers, which they can use in negotiations. Benchmarking data comes not only from those using the air tool but across the platform, since TripBam captures full PNR data, Reynolds said.

“[Airlines] always have secret algorithms that figure out your marketshare, but we’re doing it in a much more transparent way,” Reynolds said. “We can look at all the TripBam clients flying into that market and can see how much they’re giving to that specific airline.”

As most buyers still have not been negotiating with airlines, not many have used the marketshare feature yet, but Reynolds said he expected that will pick up in the first quarter.

FairFly Readies Hotel Tool

FairFly, meanwhile, has been working on the launch of its hotel solution for clients. The solution “is taking into account the same parameters we have taken into account for air,” CEO and founder Aviel Siman-Tov said.

The hotel launch comes after FairFly’s work on its product to help travel managers handle the large volumes of unused tickets they still are dealing with due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, that has been focused on a module “that is going to provide visibility toward expirations, keeping in mind all the waivers, so travelers managers can notice ahead of time,” FairFly VP of product Oded Zilinsky said. “If they have a mountain of unused tickets that are going to expire in December, maybe they can start strategizing to have them extended, transported to a UATP account or whatever.”

Both platforms plan to continue their expansion. For TripBam, the next stages will be a contract auditing tool for air as well as a solution focusing on sustainability, followed by a tool for car rental, Reynolds said. All of that is on track to happen by the back half of next year, he said.

FairFly also wants to become a broader solution, which is what its clients are demanding, Siman-Tov said. “They told us they want everything in one platform, so they can manage all of their spending in one place, optimizing the entire trip,” he said.

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