Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way for updating your traveler profile? Regardless of which travel agencies, online sites or airlines you use? A place where any travel supplier could – with your permission – access your most current profile data and use it as needed?
Hello, Facebook! Why not hang a module on Facebook where you could post your profile, your preferences, your frequent flyer numbers – all those details that are a pain in the butt to update today – and make that the one place for suppliers to look whenever they need your data?
Let’s assume the significant data security issues could be solved. Now you’ve got a way to automatically update the entire travel industry whenever you need to change something like your address, phone number or seating preference.
Just imagine all the new travel supplier friends you’d make!
I see Facebook as the natural place for storing personal profile data, and LinkedIn for storing a traveler’s corporate data. Stuff like authorized access to the corporate discounts and rates, and the traveler’s organizational hierarchy data.
You’d probably need two keys to control the LinkedIn profile data – one held by the individual, and one held by the organization she claims to work for, but that doesn’t seem unreasonable.
So why is this any better than storing your profile data in a GDS? How about freedom and control. You’re free to update your information anytime, regardless of the travel agency you use, or the travel agency your company uses, or the GDS that your travel agency uses. Switch any of those today, and you need to pound the keyboard – after you track down all your frequent traveler numbers.
Using a social traveler profile, you control what information goes in, and which suppliers can use it. Keep in mind that a number of airlines and hotels don’t use a GDS, so those folks will need your profile information – each one of them. Why bother with all that duplication of effort?
In this socially-driven world we’re living in, this idea seems like a logical connection to make. And if you’re still not convinced that this idea has merit, see this post by Martin Collings on “f-commerce”, where “f” is for Facebook.
TIILTS stands for Travel Innovations I’d Like To See. This is the second in a series of posts. The first TIILTS post covered the use of reward points in corporate self-booking tools.
LinkedIn users are welcome to join the TIILTS group. You’ll find a faster flow there of innovation-related posts.
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