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I worked at a large travel agency doing "things / nothing" for several years and during that time the amount of profit it made on flights was going down and down.
All that being said - you are still being ripped off by expedia, but then again they can afford to do that due to they're big brand. I would take a rough guess and say that affiliates in general that are selling flights should get around £10 per long haul sale (20$). I think on average the likes of travel agents make around £25 from a flight to spain from london.
I don't know if this helps you any but it does get some reason behind expedia's pricing!
- RJ -
the past 5 years the Airlines have really been struggling but $2 ..I just cant do it
At the same time Adsense has fallen from mid .xx cents to low .xx
and yet when I look at overture bids for example I see plus $1 per click for the top bids and still high .xx for the next 5 ..
How is it these same players can pay $1 plus per click but refuse to pay for Actual sales!
To make up for the cap, many agents tack on a service charge, which some affiliate programs split with their affiliates (others obviously don't).
As far as I know, many (most?) international slights don't have that serious restriction, but I believe many are still cutting their commissions.
(Note- my information is based on information from 2000 when we were looking into investing in a system to directly connect to the airline ticket systems. With the caps, it just didn't make sense to get into that business, so we stayed on the affiliate side. Things may have changed since then, but I suspect they've only gotten worse on the travel agency side, not better.)
(On an aside, happy 1,000th post to me!)
Or it could be that they are completely clueless and not doing any ROI tracking and are on a quick, downward slide towards bankruptcy.
C'mon. Stop taking this laying down. The heck with them all. Pick one airline and let the others pay for their own advertising and see how much that costs them. When they stop getting to freeload off of everyone else's efforts maybe they'll decide they could afford to pay more.
Viva la revolucion! Elbonia Airways for everyone!
(And yes, affiliates do need to organize a bit better.)
So for some $4000 longhaul tickets, I get $80 minimal. It wouldn't amaze me if the company is making a loss on this sale.
Here you can see the salescommisions of main airliners to travelagencies: [abtamembers.org...]
I was a "real" travel agent for over 5 years and I watched the airlines first reduce and then eliminate commissions to agents. With the advent of the internet their model has been just like everyone else--sell directly to the consumer through their own website and cut out the middle man.
Then when 9/11 happened tons of travel agencies went straight out of business.
If you look at the profit and sales of expedia, orbitz, etc. you'll see that they've been going down for a few years. The airlines and hotels are paying them less too and so they've got less to pay you.
I think the bottom line is that the travel market is just not profitable as an affiliate any longer. I think that trying to wish it or will it into being any different is just like banging your head against a wall. It won't do you any good and it will give you a headache :-)
To me it comes down to will it be more profitable for me to keep trying to revive this dead/dying niche, or should I look for something else with a long term and profitable future. If it were I'd look for a new niche. 2 bucks a sale just sucks!
My main travel is Air .. I have to say it's going pretty well (considering).
For some reason it never dawned on me that most reservations arent 1 ticket but 2 and I have already had a 5 on one flight ..
domestic flights are 40% of the $10 Fee and 40% of $15 on International ...Plus a percentage of Opti Fees
Not great but it is taking the pressure off relying on adsense .
Only problem is I had to remove one adsense in a good location which cut my CTR nearly in half..the good part is my per click on the other ads rose..
Long story short I think I have found a solution in wctravel and now just need to tweak placement /color schemes etc..
When I joined a major travel affiliate program in 1998 or 1999, my affiliate ID was a 4-digit number (at the low end). A few years later I added some child IDs for better revenue tracking and was given 5-digit numbers (around 50000). I would not be at all surprised if new IDs from them are now 6 digits. So that's over 100,000 sites, just for 1 affiliate program! And they're not the only game in town.