HONEYCOMB SPECIAL 2012
Showmethehoney! We take a look at the recent launch of Honeycomb, the new online search and booking engine from The Travel Network Group.
The Travel Network Group - Championing the Independent Travel Market
Contents Special insight 022 Honeycomb
Introducing In this special edition of Insight you’ll ﬁnd all you need to know about the new system and how you can get access to it. Changing consumer trends and the introduction of new Government legislation have gripped our industry in recent years, and no one feels this more than you, our members. To help you manage these changes, at The Travel Network Group we have had a number of very clear objectives including: bringing members closer to our suppliers providing ATOL solutions enabling members to maximise profits. Honeycomb is the system we have been developing to do just that – and it is now live! It is an online search and booking engine that gives you access to flights, cruise, accommodation and transfers, featuring XML feeds from Business Partners of The Travel Network Group. And, you can sell the items individually or combine them together as a package under our ATOL licence. You can also add a further commission,
administration fee or discount to improve your earning or to secure the sale. When I have met with members using the system they have talked positively about the benefits, Nick Lee at Broadlands Travel was able to quote competitively for a cruise where he had packaged an NCL cruise at net rates with flights, also at net rates. Our colleagues at NCL said this about Honeycomb: “We believe in the potential of Honeycomb to enable The Travel Network Group members to take our cruise only element and create the best holiday ever for their customer – designed perfectly just for their customer.” Travelcube also understand the needs our members face both now and in the future commenting: “ Honeycomb is a quick and easy method of quickly identifying the best deals available for you and your customers. Moving forward we see many of the main players following The Travel Network Group’s lead.”
So why should you be using Honeycomb? In short you will benefit from ATOL protection on all flights and flight inclusive bookings made on Honeycomb; get access to net rates on flights and cruises, and have ‘one search’ facility for multiple suppliers. I am convinced that Honeycomb will give our members a competitive edge and also profit in the future. This special edition of Insight provides you with a summary of where we are with the roll out of the new technology. Please take the time to learn and understand how it can help your business. Best regards, Gary Lewis
Group Managing Director The Travel Network Group
Honeycomb provides many beneﬁts including: The ability to DP (dynamically package), using the ATOL of TTAFS Ltd, ATOL 10300 Search multiple suppliers at once Live availability & net fares Pay for low cost carrier ﬂights without the need to hand over the client’s credit card or a company credit card Free to use – we are not charging a booking fee, and we are committed to not charging a booking fee or ticketing fee for the ﬁrst 3 months, but we do charge a failure insurance fee of £8.36 per passenger. This includes the APC, Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance and Travel Disruption Insurance.
Pay via ACAS (Worldchoice) or TAPS (TTA) Add additional commission, administration charge and/or a discount For TTA members - booking a cruise through Honeycomb means that your clients money can be released prior to departure, so there is less of a requirement to cash ﬂow a cruise booking. (At present cruise payments can only be released from your trust account prior to travel if the cruise line is PSA bonded or there is a ﬂight with the cruise and the package is ATOL protected).
Honeycomb Suppliers: FLIGHTS Jetset, Major Travel, Monarch, Gold Medal, Travelport – Lowcost (BMI, Easyjet & Jet2) Travelport – Net, Travelport – Published
CRUISE CCS, Costa, MSC, NCL, RCCL
ACCOMMODATION MedHotels, Travelcube, Innstant Travel
TRANSFERS A2B Transfers
How to increase your earnings using Honeycomb Using the Settings page within Honeycomb you can set the commission level on each fare. You will be able to see what fare basis each feed provides (there is a mixture of net and gross rates), and you can adjust the commission as a percentage or as an amount, or a combination of both.
Testimonials: As a Group, we are confident that Honeycomb has the potential to become an integral part of your business, but don’t just take our word for it... “I am impressed with Honeycomb. I like the way that we can build elements of a holiday (including a multicentre holiday, open jaw flights, multiple hotels in more than one place and cruises!) and then protect them all under an ATOL which the agent does not have to administer or take liability for. I will be using Honeycomb in preference to having to use our own ATOL. In most respects it is far superior in flexibility than other DP solutions on offer from outside of The Travel Network Group. As the number of suppliers grow so will the usefulness of the system. Honeycomb is a great idea and it is working beautifully already.” Sarah Payne, Triangle Travel - Worldchoice “It is an excellent reservation tool which enables me to make the most of the margins available – even increasing them very easily if I think the market will bear them. It is improving all the time with new suppliers coming on line to increase the choice of destinations available.” Peter Weller, Wallace Arnold - Worldchoice “We have found Honeycomb to be user friendly and has enabled us to quote and book dynamic packages for our customers quickly with ease and professionalism” Adrian Cumpstey, Upton Travel - Worldchoice “ I had an enquiry for a booking to Bucharest and we had been struggling with keeping the cost within budget. We gave Honeycomb a try and not only did we find flights and hotel to match the clients criteria but it was way under budget too! There were lots of flight options to choose from – all clearly stating their different costs – we picked the times that suited best and added it to the plan. We then chose the hotel – lots of choice with detailed descriptions and individual prices. All very easy and agent friendly so would definitely recommend” Claire Body - Independent Travel Experts “Honeycomb has excellent functionality.” Helder Lemos, Gallivant Travel - TTA
In addition, you can click on the + sign on the travel plan and add more commission. All of this is incorporated in the price the customer sees. There is also the option to add an additional administration fee or a discount when the travel plan is completed and you are in the closing stages of confirming the booking, but this will be visible to the customer. How you use these options will depend on how you operate your business and whether the customer is in front of you or not….either way, there is plenty of flexibility to increase your earning!
Complying with ATOL Regulations: The new Flight Plus rules are that a Flight Plus car hire and/or accommodation booked within 24 hours of each other require ATOL protection. Honeycomb allows you to combine a flight and accommodation under our ATOL licence, therefore the Member is acting as a retail agent of TTAFS Ltd. The next stage for Honeycomb is to design a car hire platform and integrate a car hire feed from one of our Business Partners. Having car hire within Honeycomb will mean that Honeycomb is a complete solution to the Flight Plus regulations and means that Members do not have to get their own ATOL or use ATOL Angel.
The Honeycomb Journey... The ﬁrst release of Honeycomb is a basic system. It will be competitive on price where we have net rates, and further development will include implementing more feeds from Business Partners to increase the variety of product on Honeycomb. In some cases, as you would expect, a small commission is paid to The Travel Network Group to cover the cost of the ATOL bonding, build of the XML feeds and operational support.
What’s Next... We know that there is demand from members to increase the number of suppliers on Honeycomb and we are currently working hard to do this. Our priority has been to get a functioning solution out in time to enable members to comply with the new ATOL regulations. We have just released a new version of Honeycomb that includes: extra search ﬁlters on accommodation, so you can search on price/rating/hotel name/hotel location/board basis; and a timeout feature which tells you when a product is going to expire to enable you to refresh your search. But this isn’t the ﬁnal story. We still have work to do on the usability and implementing new feeds, including car hire.
How to sign up... We have over 200 members registered to use Honeycomb, undertaking over 250 searches a day and generating 35 bookings each week, to sign up you need to: Be on ACAS (Worldchoice) or TAPS (TTA) Send us a signed copy of the Honeycomb Agency Agreement To request a copy of the Honeycomb Agency Agreement email email@example.com. Or log on to GetItQuick (Worldchoice) or Members WebZone (TTA). Once we receive a signed copy of the agency agreement we will send you a username and password so you can then access and use the system. The system is accessed at: honeycomb.travel
If you have any questions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
We take a look at the recent launch of Honeycomb, the new online search and booking engine from The Travel Network Group. The Travel Network...