No pain, no gain: The travel chain or the travel pain?

Pablo Jacobo Ruiz Alonso

Senior Manager, Digital Communications – Channels and Strategy, Amadeus IT Group

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During the next few weeks we’ll be featuring blog posts about how companies like Amadeus really help to improve our experience through the travel chain – or more precisely how Amadeus is really part of each step of it and makes it easier to book our trips.

The truth is that having a seamless experience when booking your holidays is priceless and that is why I will try to illustrate the importance of this experience with my last big holiday, but the other way around, in what I call ‘the travel pain’

Some of my friends say that travelling to India is an amazing experience, others would never go again. In my opinion, it is something that we all have to do once in a lifetime. You really appreciate still being alive after driving in India.

After travelling to India, I realized how accustomed I am to booking everything on-line. As a frequent traveler apps not only help you with different stages of planning a trip while on the move, but more importantly they help you save money, find fabulous destinations, research places to visit, book tickets and hotels – all paperless on your mobile device.

Crowded street market in India
800 metres? I'll be there in 2 hours

Yet in spite of this, travelling can remain a very disjointed experience. For India, the only thing I managed to reserve, book and have confirmed before the trip was the hotel voucher, the rest was an act of fait

There are many apps on the internet that help us to plan connections no matter what the distance is between our destinations. One of the things that confused me the most was that in India distances are measured in minutes, not in miles – which made planning connections difficult.

No matter how many times I asked how far a destination was, the answer by default always was in minutes or hours, and was different depending on who I had asked. When I arrived in India, I understood why this was the case. Indian traffic, whether motorized or human, was a whole new concept for me. Maybe the picture on the left will help you understand this phenomenon too. My apps weren't up to the job!

Trains were another highlight of the trip. Just understanding the different types was challenging – but booking them? I gave up and turned to a local agency for help. Five minutes before the train was due to depart, I still had no ticket. An e-ticket, an e-ticket, my kingdom for an e-ticket! The clock was ticking, the engine was puffing; finally the local agent appeared (running) at the station…Phew! Luckily I then had 18 hours (= 464.6 miles) to recover from this stress between Delhi and Jaisalmer.

People carrying supplies on top of their heads
No one else seemed to be too bothered about not having an e-ticket.

India has excellent internet and mobile penetration – for this reason it’s not unreasonable to imagine a future travel landscape where the government, travel technology players and infrastructure managerswork together to take the travel chain from chaos to collaboration in order to capitalise on the great benefits that technology can bring to improve the travel experience.

When I got back from India, I thought I’d never go there again, because I’d felt so far outside my comfort zone when planning and travelling. Now, however, I realise that I gained a new perspective on so many things, so, if I could feel confident in creating a seamless travel plan to suit my own needs from the comfort of my sofa, then perhaps I would reconsider. After all, it’s a large and beautiful country, with so much more to explore.



India, Asia Pacific, Travel Platform