I wrote back in 2007 about what successful online distributing airlines should do to stay on top of the online travel game. That post was published in the T-List book and you can find it here. You may have heard that Qantas has merge it's vacation division - Qantas Holidays - with an offline retailer Jetset in a move that could (but only could) be a part of them listening to this advice.
It is a good move for Qantas' online efforts only if they use this sale to "un-cuff" the website from the legacy offline business of Qantas Holidays. That is - allowing Qantas.com to establish online complementary business to air sales without being worried about cannibalising offline sales of a technologically constrained vacation group. I doubt it will in this case.
Even if QF take this chance for expand online plans, it has been very bad news for the Qantas Holidays staff that now find themselves about to be stripped of their Qantas staff perks - mainly access to very very cheap Qantas staff (according to Australian Travel Daily pdf) UPDATE - this may not be true - see below. This is despite the fact (according to the article and relevant Trade Union) that Qantas will end up with 58% share in Jetset. If true I don't see the upside to Qantas in making this decision as it immediately makes a flight risk every single employee at Qantas Holidays but as regular readers will know I am often confused about Qantas actions.
thanks to hoobygroovy on flickr for the photo
UPDATE - 16 April have heard word from the inside that this report on benefits being stripped out is not true. Story from my source is that the flight benefits will be retained. So is this just Qantas Unions crying wolf or is there a good sales job going on inside Qantas Holidays or somewhere in between. As all good journalists say - "only time will tell".