Meta-search and Business Travel
May 31, 2005
June 6, 2005
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Meta-search and Dynamic Packaging

Recently both Sidestep and Kayak announced capabilities to search multiple sites for packaging comparisons. How do these technologies work with the trend towards dynamic packaging? The Sidestep beta vacation search engine allows the consumer to filter the responses by price ranges and quality of properties (# of stars) and provides an integrated display of vacation package options. The Kayak vacation search requires you select a specific site to search and therefore it not currently a meta-search vacation engine. Neither of these sites offers a way to compare dynamic packaging. There are many technological challenges in trying to offer a meta-search based on dynamic verses static packages. Foremost is the differences across sites on booking flow of various dynamic packaging engines. The initial offerings from Sidestep and Kayak involve agreement from the vacation packagers (mostly static package providers). It is my belief that a true dynamic packaging meta-search capability could be created across sites, but would need to enlist the cooperation of Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Agreement from these sites may be an issue as each has taken a stance that meta-search commoditize their products. Keep tuned to this channel for further developments as meta-search and dynamic packaging converge.