(25 April 2008) British Airways has joined forces with Microsoft to develop a media rich research and booking tool for its website.
The project is based on Microsoft Silverlight rich media technology and aims to move away from traditional web selling by trying to inspire customers with detailed tourist information, pictures, video and other graphics.
BA.com general manager Carsten Willert debuted the system at the Travolution Summit this week.
The ‘Inspire Me’ tool tries to get behind people’s emotions when they come to the site looking for a holiday by breaking it down into what they want to do in destination, what their perfect night out is, what they like to eat and what style of place they want to stay in.
Willert said: “We wanted to get away from the very first question being tell me when you want to go.”
The final stage of the technology provides consumers with everything they need such as weather and currency information, maps and user generated content to push them towards making a booking.
Willert added that the airline plans to test similar functionality with a rival technology supplier to Microsoft before introducing its preferred version of the technology sometime this year.
He also confirmed BA is still on track to release its dynamic packaging website this year but remained tight-lipped on a launch date.