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Bots Impacting Flight Ticket Booking on Travel Sites

July 28, 2015 | All Automated Threats Bot Prevention Technologies

Bots Impacting Flight Ticket Booking

Successfully running an travel site is never easy. Let alone the inherent challenges of the competitive marketplace, travel sites are always faced with the challenge of dodging bots from scraping their prices and querying  for flights and Hotels.One of the major concerns travel sites face is the continuous queries for flights generated by bots.

Here’s how this activity ruins the online travel site business:

When a bot queries for a flight on a travel site, a request is sent to GDS ( Global Distribution System – an online system which delivers rates, inventory, discounts and descriptions to many sites ). The GDS system will charge the travel site a minimal cost for querying and fetching the relevant data.

In the case of  bots, the booking never happens for real however, the travel site is charged by travel agents like  Sabre, Pegasus, Galileo, Worldspan, Travelport and Amadeus who handle the GDS. Although the amount charged for querying is very minimal, imagine a situation where 30% traffic of a travel site is bot infested and there are hundreds of thousands of queries each day. Such a situation will only lead to the erosion of plenty of dollars for nothing in return.

There could be many motives behind  such a bot activity. It could be done to scrape prices of tickets for competitive intelligence, for data mining or sell the same tickets with inflated prices in a secondary market and illegally pocket the difference. Such malicious intent of bots pollutes the traffic of the travel site and hampers the online business efficiency.

Established travel sites must think beyond CAPTCHA’s (Read our previous blog post which throws light on the ineffectiveness of most common measures taken to prevent bots) that render bad user experience and employ a dynamic, robust , adaptable bot protection solution that detects bot patterns and blocks bots real time.The threat from bots is always around the corner and travel sites must be well equipped to fight the menace in order to save money and improve customer relations.

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