Fully fared: Rome2rio announces new point-to-point pricing feature

In what could be one of the most interesting new features in the travel startup space this year, point-to-point travel planning site rome2rio is now offering complete journey pricing of trips mapped out on the service.

The feature is truly going to reframe many travel-related searches, as travelers can now get a handle on the complete journey from the get-go. Rather than just having the length and cost of the flight portion, or having to go through different sites and aggregating itineraries on TripIt, travelers can now discover the true characteristics of a potential journey upfront.

Rome2rio CEO Rod Cuthbert is unsurprisingly enthused about this new major feature:

That means a trip that starts with a shuttle to the airport, then a flight, a train from the airport to a regional city and finally a taxi to the hotel will be priced down to the final component.

For the first time, the frustration many travelers feel with itineraries that stop at the destination city airport rather than their actual destination can be addressed. Travelers can now make more informed decisions, choosing transport options based on a better understanding of costs and the options available to them.

We expect this new functionality will spur even more OTAs and Business Travel specialists to plan integrations of the Rome2rio platform in their own sites and apps.

Given this end-to-end functionality, it does indeed seem more likely that other organizations will be much more likely to integrate Rome2rio into their workflow and/or internal apps. Especially for travel advisors, this sort of information could be invaluable in both scheduling and pricing out a trip.

The ability to both deliver a final price and itinerary is valuable, and will most definitely be a significant competitive advantage as consumers are evaluating different travel planning search tools. Especially for the traveler seeking different solutions – perhaps flying into a different airport and traveling overland – this new feature will be extremely useful.

On the technology side of things, the company aims to be at least within 10% of the actual price.

Co-founder Michael Cameron:

We expect that over time we can improve on this target. During our beta phase, we’ve had plenty of feedback that tested prices were “spot on”, but we are more interested in the cases where we are off the mark, as that allows us to fine tune our algorithm. This machine learning component of the system is critical to its overall success, and will be an ongoing part of its development.

Cuthbert echoes Cameron’s concerns, saying that

The most important goal now is to attain 100% coverage (every train route, every bus line, every ferry) and to continue to work on the accuracy of routing and pricing.

The pricing data comes from a variety of sources, such as flight data from OAG Aviation, and was derived by using a global team of researchers to gather historical data from 196 airlines and 1,500 bus, train and ferry routes. By gathering these pricing data points, the company is able to offer almost complete coverage of the 185,000 routes currently in the transport database.

While this means that not every route will have point-to-point pricing or be searchable in the Rome2rio database, the company is using machine learning to improve the algorithm as more searches occur.

The new feature will be available on the company’s homepage, as well as via their white label solution and API.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someone
 
 
Nick Vivion

About the Writer :: Nick Vivion

Nick helps brands blog better at Ghost Works, a boutique blog management service. Nick was previously the Director of Content for tnooz, where he oversaw the editorial and commercial content as well as producing/hosting tnoozLIVE.

 

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Mike

    Congrats R2R, this is great! One of my favorite travel startups of the past 2 years just got even better! I’d love for you guys to give a presentation at a Travel 2.0 Meetup sometime: http://www.meetup.com/Travel20

     
  2. Matt Radack

    Love it. I just tested Fresno – Ko Phan Ngan and it returned detailed results within seconds.

    Two minor complaints:

    1) It doesn’t seem to support small airport codes. When I typed in FAT for Fresno (and yes, that’s really their airport code) it returned Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. While I’m extremely impressed that the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan are even in their database, it should really support all airport codes. It also didn’t recognize XNA, which may kill any opportunity they may have with Walmart executives, however it did recognize when I typed in both Northwest Arkansas as well as Fayetteville. For big airports like SFO and BKK it did recognize the codes.

    2) The flight prices seem suspect. Where is this data coming from? And the “each way” pricing really only applies if the airlines support one-way fares, which they don’t always necessarily do.

     
    • Michael Cameron

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for the feedback!

      1) Our geocoder and autocomplete system accepts a wide range of inputs such as cities, town names, addresses and landmarks. As such, there’s a tricky balance between assuming all 3-letters typed by users are airport codes versus other destinations. Typing “FAT airport” will indeed resolve to Fresno airport. We totally fail with XNA however, you’re quite right. We’ll look into fixing this.

      2) Our flight prices are based on the machine learning approach we described on Tnooz in December here: https://www.tnooz.com/2012/12/14/news/data-crunching-to-find-the-cheapest-airline-in-the-world/

      The “each-way” messaging is tricky. International airfares are often quoted as return fares, however trains, taxi, buses and ferries are typically quoted as a one-way fare. By combining the two we’ve encountered a messaging challenge that we will refine with time.

       
      • Matt Radack

        Hi Michael,

        Thanks for the feedback, and congrats on the site. I consider myself an especially tough critic and was extremely impressed.

        As someone who has a lot of experience with travel UI’s, I doubt that anyone would ever actually type in “FAT airport” unless they were talking about an airport that was extremely cool, and even that would be PHAT airport.

        I wouldn’t worry too much about XNA specifically, but it might be a sign of a bigger bug.

        As for quoting fares each way that aren’t actually one-way fares, is this…you know…legal? Both the EU and US have pretty strict regulations about that.

        Cheers,
        Matt

         
  3. David Urmann

    Tested it for some out of the way routes in India and its not perfect but not bad either. Impressed.

     
  4. Paul

    Really impressed with the work the guys have done at R2R. Great news on it being included on the api

     
  5. Sean

    Beautiful and well done R2R. Thank for sharing Nick. I love this and reckon it adds a nice value layer in the marketplace.

     
  6. Alex Bainbridge

    Just for a little data check…. I just phoned the local Oxford cab company and they said take a black cab from the rank at the train station – and it will be 6 or 7 GBP (which is about 11 USD )

    So Rome 2 Rio OK for this!

    *HOWEVER* there is also a bus route (as 321 Woodstock in convenient for that) and that is bound to be even less!

    And no – I do not scale.

     
    • Michael Cameron

      Thanks for the feedback. Sounds like we’re pretty close to the mark on the taxi fare here.

      In the next few weeks we will be launching full bus coverage in the United Kingdom, since the government has recently made the data publicly available. Our test bed shows the line 300 bus, which stops 350 meters from 321 Woodstock Rd.

       
  7. Alex Kremer

    Congrats to the R2R team, great feature. Slight nitpick that I’m sure will be worked on going forward — You won’t be finding a 2.4 mile cab ride in Oxford for $15.

     
 
 

Newsletter Subscription

Please subscribe now to Tnooz’s FREE daily newsletter.

This lively package of news and information from Tnooz’s web site provides a convenient digest of what’s happening in technology that drives the global travel, tourism and hospitality market.

  • Cancel