Air New Zealand Booking Engine

Multiple Storefronts, multiple currencies, loyalty, PCI compliance and a multitude of other challenges.

The Air New Zealand booking engine is one of the few airline booking engines actually developed by the airline. End to end it relies on internal systems. The front end (the storefront) is just a small part of the entire system, but it’s pretty important. Millions of dollars a day get spent on it and that only happens because every detail of the site is constantly scrutinised. Change doesn’t normally happen quickly in airlines. But the Air New Zealand front end can be kept up to date more quickly than most.

In my time working on the site we’ve implemented a full adaptive solution for mobile browsers. At a time when everyone was going responsive we took a different approach and instead of forcing travellers who are probably on a pay as you go data rate to download a lot of redundant desktop css and scripts we developed a lean mobile only site with all of the functionality of the desktop site. We also invested heavily in new technologies creating components specifically for mobile that could animate entirely on the GPU to ensure a rich experience even on an S2.

On the desktop for a long time we were still supporting IE6 since one of the Air NZ storefronts was for China where IE6 was, until surprisingly recently, the predominant browser. Even with this constraint the site still makes heavy use of modern technologies and occasionally a border-radius.

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