In this month’s One-on-One blog, ExpertFlyer talks with Martin Lumbye, partner of Momondo, the “disco queen” of low cost, highly hip Euro-travel. Martin talks about the niche that Momondo’s travel meta program fills for US travelers seeking European adventure, also because of the company’s irreverently cool and colorful approach to destination selection.
Founded in Denmark in 2006, Momondo may be a world-class travel meta-search site with a fine collection of free services to assist plan your next travel adventure. Momondo isn’t an agency or an airline, nor are they a booking-portal, and that they don’t sell airline tickets.
Momondo just searches many fares across the online to offer its users the simplest deals to where they need to travel.
Martin Lumbye, partner, Momondo
Martin Lumbye, partner, Momondo
We have talked to a variety of leading travel search engines over the past few years — Hipmunk, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, to call a couple of — and our readers have the interest to understand the difference between them and you? What do travelers get once they use Momondo that they don’t get once they use other players during this competitive industry?
On the top, it can seem as if we are offering much of an equivalent quite products and services. However, this is often not the case. Momondo varies from its competitors in some ways both technically and product-wise. as an example, did you recognize that each time you search on Momondo, we conduct a live search/crawl of quite 740 Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and airline companies (both low cost and legacy carriers)? during this way, we will nearly always find the foremost updated, and sometimes the most cost-effective, price on the precise route during which you’ve got expressed interest.
Furthermore, Momondo’s European point-to-point searches include over 4,000 high-speed rail lines (all the high-speed rail lines in Europe). within us, Amtrak is additionally included as a part of the organic search. Therefore, a flight search from Amsterdam to Brussels or Madrid to Barcelona or any to Boston will include train results as a part of the search.
Additionally, Momondo is quite just a flight comparison site – Momondo is an experience –The ambient beginning of your travel odyssey if you’ll. our colors ignite your emotions and obtain you within the travel mood. Then, once you recognize where you’re going, we’ll also assist you to find great deals on hotels and car rentals. And, taking into consideration your personality and travel theme or purpose – green for family, blue for business, pink for nightlife, etc., we’ll assist you to plan the right vacation regardless of where within the world you’re going.
What do travelers get once they use Momondo that they don’t get once they use other players during this competitive industry?
We provide travelers with singular and “fun” experience that creates them want to return to our site over and over for planning their journeys. there’s such a lot color, atmosphere, travel information – both user-generated, also as travel tip articles in our “Don’t Forget Your Passport” section, that site visitors enjoy browsing around. this is often not necessarily something they might do on a “deliberately ugly” travel search site.
Moreover, we are a little and dynamic organization that’s constantly updating our product based upon customer feedback. Our repeat business and customer surveys reveal a user satisfaction rate of quite 98%.
Talk about how your European roots have helped you here within the US? Are you focusing less on shepherding Americans across the Atlantic or is that also your business sweet spot?
The US has been, and can still be one of our focus markets. Americans are famous for being very active internet buyers who are always leading trends by utilizing the most recent products and features, like flight apps for mobile phones, as an example. We are increasing that specialize in our cross-Atlantic routes, as there’s an increased demand for flights both ways.
How, if at all, do European airlines treat meta-search differently than US airlines?
In Europe, the competition among online travel agents is extremely aggressive, and therefore the European-based national and low cost carriers also are competing very vigorously online. In the US, the competition is additionally hard, but still not as fierce as in Europe. for instance , there are quite 100 low-cost carriers in Europe. Meta-search has become extremely popular, so it’s become much easier for us to figure more closely with the suppliers as compared to once we launched Momondo back in September 2006.
Because you’re based in Denmark, does that have any negative pertaining to your ability to serve the simplest fares for US destinations?
No. because of the web , the planet is far smaller today, and every one of a sudden Denmark and therefore the US isn’t that far apart. We are a 98% online organization and fortunately, our robots, which make the live searches, are super robots that talk multiple languages and may get good prices on flights regardless of the OTA or airline is found in Denmark, the US or Australia.
US consumers are very comfortable booking travel online. Is it true that EU travelers prefer booking via brick and mortar travel agents and the way does that affects EU meta-search sites?
I would tend to mention that this is often a general misconception. The younger European travelers seem as confident with booking online because of the Americans. That said, most of our users are under 60 years old.
Where did the concept for “travel by color” ambiance come from and the way does it work?
Momondo is a corporation built for travelers, by travelers, and that we all felt that we were often wasting tons of your time browsing through online and offline travel guides just because we had to flick through an excessive amount of irrelevant material before we found what we were trying to find . We invented pass by Colors, so customers can plan a visit consistent with their personality, the aim of their travel, or even just the very mood they’re in when trying to find an exciting experience. Travel is such a lot quite an inexpensive flight – travel is more about feelings, emotions, discovery — new places, people and new moments in time. We even provide a chance for travelers to look by their mood. Here: http://www.momondo.com/where-to-go/ you enter your departure airport and just your month of travel and search by ambient color, and Momondo will suggest places to travel.
What’s the effect of those unusual pictures on your website and who is your target demographic?
By now it should be clear that we don’t offer run-of-the-mill anything. We are about providing travelers with a uniquely fun experience that creates them want to return back to us. Our site was designed to reflect our personality and unique value.
Our target demographic is straightforward and really wide: People, young, old and in between, trying to find experiences – Travel related or associated with their local region. The photos and color schemes of our site are carefully selected in accordance with the style trends of today.
What added features, like hotel booking, iPhone and Android apps, multi-destination search, have impacted your business the foremost profoundly and the way so?
Our travel guides have had an enormous impact on the way that our consumers utilize our site. a few years ago our customers simply used Momondo for locating cheap flights. On the typical, they left our site after just a few minutes. Today our users spend far more time on our site and appear to possess an honest time find both travel inspiration and travel savings on flights, hotels and car rentals. In fact, we all know that more and more of our customers don’t know their final destination when entering the location. However, many of those mood-inspired travelers leave with a replacement journey to seem forward to.
Additionally, our users wanted multi-destination search quite the other request, so we gave them what they wanted. Then they asked for mobile apps. We gave them that, too.
What’s next for Momondo’s business – will you progress from disco to hip-hop:)?
Momondo will move within the preferred direction of our users. If our users convert to reggae, you’ll be seeing great deals to Jamaica then on. Specifically, we are performing on upgrading search, generally. Since Momondo doesn’t purchase any flight-search software and owns all of its flight search data since 2006, we are now performing on fare prediction. this may not be limited to questions asking if prices will go up or down but by how much!
Overall, Momondo is concentrated on providing the simplest experiences for our users. Thus, within the near future, you would possibly not need anything aside from a Momondo app to travel the planet. Speaking of the Momondo app, you ought to look out for the most recent upgrade to our Android App, which just hit the streets this month.