Digital Booking Sites

The new around-the-world flight-booking engine that gives independent travelers an edge

@denschaal

Jan 08, 2013 1:00 am

Skift Take

Road warriors need not apply, but Bootsnall is tackling a mammoth, complex battle for those leisure travelers who are set on exploring the world. If the Indie booking engine works as advertised, Bootsnall will make some headway because of it.

— Dennis Schaal

Free Report: The State of Student Travel

Bootsnall

You can get there from here -- or anywhere -- with the Indie around the world flight-booking engine. Bootsnall


Independent travelers embarking on around-the-world treks have been dependent on travel agents, phone reservations and airline alliances until now, but BootsnAll has launched a multi-stop global faring engine that it claims is a landmark achievement.

Its Indie Web app, which had been in beta for three months, enables travelers for the first time to “search and book an up to 25-stop trip” from anywhere to everywhere, BootsnAll states.

Airline alliances such as OneWorld and Star Alliance have enabled online bookings within each alliance of up to 16 stops, but as one competitor privately states, BootnAll has “upped the ante for all of us.”

Indeed, I just used Indie to price a convoluted eight-stop trip — Newark-Reykjavik-Mumbai-Hanoi-Shanghai-Beijing-Auckland-Beirut-Newark –and in under a minute saw a fare result of $6,442, including taxes and fees.

Sean Keener, who co-founded BootsnAll with Chris Heidrich in 1998, declined to give away the “secret sauce” of how this online booking is accomplished, but says: “We licensed an OTA engine, and built an API on top of it that solved the problem on its own. This API now has the initial algorithm that strings together up to 25 legs.”

“We are in version one now and have a several year road map with the idea of unlocking more and more value for the traveler,” Keener says.

Bootsnall fulfills the flights, but notes in its terms and conditions that while customers get the confirmation at the time of the booking, tickets aren’t immediately issued.

“Airlines may take a few hours to a few days to confirm and issue your tickets,” BootsnAll states. “Until your tickets are issued and paid for, prices and availability are not guaranteed and are subject to change.”

Keener says the biggest enabler of building the solution was assembling a team that was up to the task.

It involved “lots of tears, discussion, and constructive ‘brawls’ within our internal teams to get it done,” he adds.

Tags:

Follow @denschaal

Next Up

More on Skift

Flight Rebooking is Only Getting More Confusing in the U.S.
Boeing Turns to Agriculture to Grow the Next Generation of Aircraft Interiors
Skift Forum Video: How Smart Design Is Shaping the Future of Travel
Free Webinar: How To Effectively Personalize Marketing Across Travel Sectors