Booking.com is renowned for its hotel-only focus but its homepage now features tabs for flights from Kayak, car rentals from RentalCars.com, and restaurant reservations from OpenTable, all sister companies owned by parent company Priceline Group.
The new tabs on the Booking.com homepage on desktop may not be visible to all users and they are a test to see how they perform, according to a spokesperson for Priceline Group.
Booking.com’s push to become more well-rounded in terms of the services offered on its platform is taking place at a particularly pivotal time, and it’s a sign that online travel agencies need to capture as much of the traveler journey as possible to compete in the online travel space. The online travel agency’s rival, Expedia Inc., touts itself as the globe’s largest full-service travel agency, Ctrip offers nearly every travel service imaginable, and TripAdvisor, likewise, is heavily invested in hotels, restaurants, flights, vacation rentals, tours, and more.
Users who click on Booking.com’s new flights tab on desktop land on a Booking.com-branded flights page at Booking.Kayak.com. The test wasn’t visible to us on mobile.
The flights search results page, which is branded as being powered by Kayak, features flights from various airlines. If users click on a flight, they can navigate metasearch-style to an airline website for booking. In a quick search, Skift didn’t see any online travel agencies, including Kayak sister site Priceline.com, handling any bookings.
Offering flights could be advantageous to Booking.com since many people start their trip-planning by booking an airline ticket before even considering a hotel. Ceding all of the flight, car rental, and restaurant reservations work to Booking.com’s sister companies within the Priceline Group portfolio also means that Booking.com wouldn’t have to divert too much focus away from its core hotel product for now, either.