Ever since the beginning of time, seemingly different technologies have been combined in ways that the original inventors never imagined.
In changing its traditional metasearch role, Kayak’s plan to facilitate bookings by collecting customer information highlights the transformation of various travel industry segments into a sometimes-seeming amorphous mass.
After all, Kayak, a travel metasearch and media company, intends to dabble in part of the consumer transaction, heretofore the turf of suppliers and travel agencies. And, by the way, Kayak also is getting involved in itinerary management — the fiefdom of TripIt, TripCase and Traxo, among others — with Kayak Trips.
Kayak actually is playing a leadership role and is differentiating itself in its plan for “assisted bookings” through its mobile app, in Private Sale and on its websites, but if it is successful and the other metasearch players follow, then we’ll begin to see a further blurring of roles among online travel agencies, suppliers and metasearch companies.