Can meta search move beyond flights and price? raises a valid question.
Ever since the start of online travel the focus has always been on the lowest price. This was reinforced by most media stories and became the mantra, much to the detriment of online travel agencies, who after all are intermediaries, and need to make profit to survive.
With the introduction of meta search that focus became even stronger, with added transparency making price comparison total.
Paul Furner is right that there needs to be more than price in the equation as otherwise all travel risks to be commoditized even further, as has largely happened with airplane seats, not the least due to their dominant share in the overall online travel market.
What’s disappointing, is that many travelers seem to no longer realize that in travel – as any other product or service – you get what you pay for!
The sooner the developments now starting to be seen on the semantic – or intelligent – web become available for use in travel the better. This type of enhanced data will very likely make meta search better and develop in the direction of adding more evaluation criteria than price.