The Most Prevalent Bots in Airline Industry

The airline industry is hyper-competitive and price sensitive because of the nature of the business. Do you know how much of your airline website’s traffic is driven by bots? The answer may surprise you. According to InfiSecure's bot mitigation research, more than half of all airline website traffic comes from bad bots. Malicious automation is employed at a massive and sophisticated scale to commit nefarious activities like web scraping, competitive data mining, digital ad fraud, personal and financial data harvesting.

Not all bots are bad; there are some bots will help your website get more visibility and also helps you improve your search engine ranking. Once you can detect bots and identify what is it that they are doing on your website you can start to manage them correctly using a bot mitigation solution.

In this blog, we have listed the most common bots in the Airline industry that visit airline websites:

1. Search Engine Spiders

Search engine spiders are those who crawl our sites such as Googlebot and Bing bot, consuming resource and bandwidth, indexing the pages to learn what they are about to make them more searchable. Search engine spiders are considered favorable for your website as they help you improve your search engine rankings.

2. Price Scrapers

Competitors and bad actors will engage in competitive pricing tactics by employing bots to check various flight routes and their prices. This inflates flight costs on your website. Ultimately you will lose your genuine customers from booking flight tickets on your site.

3. Spinning or Seat Holding Bots

Malicious bots check for available seats on an airline website and hold or block all of them in the cart without proceeding to payment so that those seat availabilities are not visible to your legitimate customers for some time. Due to seat holding, your customers may end up buying tickets from your competitor's website.

4. Loyalty Point Grabbers

Loyalty points are a significant target for bots as they can quickly be converted to cash or used to book flight tickets. Bots grab these loyalty points by performing brute force attacks. Brute force attack is performed by bots to systematically try millions of username/password combinations until they get lucky and find one working combination that works at victim site.

5. Unwanted GDS Query Bots

Unwanted bot queries for flights can cause unnecessary charges or penalties to your airline websites. Price displayed on the airline GDS will significantly increase due to the fake queries made by bots. Unwanted GDS queries can also be used to scrape prices of flight tickets by your competitors. Fake GDS queries will never let you generate a legitimate booking.

Above mentioned are the most popular bots in the airline industry, and malicious bots will have a negative impact on your website and your business. It is advisable first to detect what kind of bots are hitting your site and what is the reason behind, then you can take much appropriate action.

Once you can detect bots and identify what they are doing on your website you can start to manage them correctly using a bot mitigation solution. With bot mitigation solution, let only the good bots stay on your site and block all bad bots from scraping your site.