‘Disparate schedules’ on horizon for fliers

US carriers JetBlue and AirTran have said they can see a day when travellers will be able to combine schedules, including those for international routes, for two or more low-fare airlines in a single booking.

JetBlue senior vice-president of sales and marketing, Tim Claydon, told attendees at the recent Res-Expo conference in Dallas, that the airline doesn’t see value in pursuing codesharing or interlining.

However, he noted that new technology would soon enable consumers to more easily book “disparate schedules” from several low-cost carriers.

AirTran vice-president of planning and sales, Kevin Healy, predicted how combining transactions of two low-cost carriers is “likely to happen”, and that meta search is already facilitating consumers’ desires to pair itineraries.

“In theory, you could use meta search to find an itinerary in which JetBlue could take the traveller from A to B, and AirTran from B to C,” explained Henry Harteveldt, vice-president of travel research at Forrester Research.

“The passenger would have to book each ticket separately from each airline’s website and when travelling go through security each time accordingly. This could be interesting for international travel,” Harteveldt said.

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