With over 230 million people flying into and around the UK every year, the market for ground transportation may well be one of the biggest untapped revenue streams for the travel industry. The trouble is there has never before been an elegant solution; options are typically limited to high cost chauffeur services which are no cheaper than the hugely expensive black cab. Travellers are often left to find their own way from the airport to the hotel at considerable cost. A black cab from London Heathrow will typically be well over £100 for this type of 15 mile journey while a minicab may charge as little as £40.
By using online taxi-booking tools, travel agents are able to take advantage of the minicab options available to them, ensuring their customers have their travel pre-arranged from two points, such as from the airport to the hotel, while also adding an additional revenue stream with relatively minimal effort. We have developed new tools for travel agents and travel management companies as part of their online taxi-booking service, including API’s which allow integration into agents own travel booking websites and systems, and travel portals which provide easy online access to booking minicabs online. For travel agents, booking travel through an online system is nothing new, but ideas like this for ground transportation are set to revolutionise the industry.
While the public are using online taxi-booking tools to an increasing degree, private and retail sectors have been slow to make use of the opportunities available to them. Online taxi-booking offers a range of benefits over traditional travel options for businesses, and an increased uptake by travel agents would improve not only the services they are able to offer to the customer, but also the taxi industry as a whole, encouraging uptake and creating a fair and self-regulating market, which will, by nature, bring about better and more reasonable taxi pricing for all – this can only be a win/win for everyone involved, from the customer to the travel agent to the taxi companies themselves.
Taxicode, the UK’s only nationwide online taxi-booking service, will be unveiling two new API solutions for travel agents and travel management companies at the Business Travel Show in February – drop by stand B842 to find out more, and check out www.taxicode.com in the meantime.
This blog was written by Jonathan Kettle, Director and Co-Founder of Taxicode.