Booking tickets on Rome2rio: Where we’re at

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Published May 15, 2019

We’ll always be a travel planning site, but we’ve recently made an exciting move into the world of ticketing. We’ve built a lot of trust with our users over the last 7 years and wanted to be able to offer them a safe, standardized ticketing experience around the world rather than send them to a 3rd party booking site.

In the last 12 months, we’ve come a long way. We currently sell tickets for trains, buses, ferries and flights in countries around the world, including the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the US and Canada. We work both with big companies on popular routes as well as tiny operators in far-flung spots. Some of our most recent integrations include Deutsche Bahn trains in Germany and Alsa buses in Spain.

And we have a big vision for the future: to be able to offer bus, train and ferry tickets around the world, and for our users to be able to buy multi-leg journeys via a single checkout.

What have we done?

  • We’ve built a standalone ticketing service and also given users the option to search for tickets directly from our homepage, which means booking tickets is no longer the last point in a travel search.

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  • With users now coming direct to the site to book tickets, ticket sales have started to soar. Early successes include ticket sales for Trenitalia (Italy’s national rail operator), likely due to their website only being available in Italian; and UK trains, whose ticket offerings can be complex and hard to navigate.
  • Our ticket prices come direct from the operators, meaning they’re always up to date and include the same discounts or deals offered by the providers.
  • To be as clear as possible to our users, we’ve also introduced a booking icon to show which routes on our site are currently bookable, and worked on improving messaging when a provider is down or when a user’s search is too far into the future.

  • We’re 100% focused on serving users around the globe, with a strong focus on localisation; over the last few months we’ve been re-engineering our ticketing product to be available in 5 additional languages (with German coming first, followed at a later date by French, Spanish, Italian and Brazilian-Portuguese)
  • We’ve also worked hard on fare consistency, especially around Europe where complex systems mean that operators all define fares and seating differently. We’ve strived to build a consistent interface, providing better summaries of fare types + links to more detailed info for the user.

  • Since we’re working with multiple providers in countries around the world, load speed has been a challenge. We’re committed to giving our users the fastest possible UX, working on flight polling and increasing load speeds, while not caching results to ensure information is always as recent as possible.

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  • Another major priority has been ticketing within our app (iOs and Android), as we know that this is how our users prefer to book while they’re on the road (as opposed to using their web browser to book trips further into the future). Apps users are 2.75 times as likely to make a booking as mobile web users, generating over 20% of all mobile bookings with less than 10% of the traffic. We’ve now made it possible for users to log into the app to see all ticket purchases as well download e-tickets offline. We’ve also been working on UX on mobile web by reducing the number of clicks you need to book a ticket.

  • In the rare case a user has any issues, we have a global customer service team (and a 5-star Trustpilot score) who are on call 24/7 to help with any ticket or booking enquiries. Our customer service team also work proactively with operators to solve any ongoing customer service issues.

Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world’s transport information. We offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location. Discover the possibilities at rome2rio.com