It has also given me a chance to test a few former competitors (and employers) and a few offline channels. Had a
"Welcome to Qantas Holidays, this is Janine, how can I help you"
"Yes, I would like to go to [destination] and stay at [this hotel]"
She collected my basic details on number of people, ages and dates then typed away into Callypso and said "With that size family you will need to have two adjoining rooms".
"But" I said "this hotel doesn't have interconnecting rooms - it only has beach side bungalows - the rooms don't physically connect"
"Oh - you're right, but the system wont let me put two children in one bungalow with you. You'll have to book two".
"The hotels own website says that it can sleep two children in a bungalow with two paying adults" I add.
"That may be right but there is nothing I can do to change the room set up in the system" she blandly replies.
"OK - Thanks but no thanks....." click.
Running Qantas Holidays cannot be cheap for Qantas. They have tech costs that rival most of the larger online retailers, they print brochures by the truck load, put ads every other day in the travel sections of every newspaper sponsor half of the major travel shows on commercial television. Yet when it comes to booking they are as inflexible in their packaging now as they were 15 years ago. Another note to Qantas - no matter what the cost, you will need to upgrade your tech and product process or else very soon Travel.com.au, Webjet and Zuji will take away even more of your holiday business with no chance of recovery.