Technology used to distribute NDC content primarily includes Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Aggregators and Direct Channel Connections. Airlines have been looking for a new way to distribute their product outside of traditional distribution methods.
As the digital world advances, NDC offers are made possible through XML data files. This allows for more flexibility and offers to include various ancillary products such as seat selection, meals and checked baggage along with familiar functional elements such as advance purchase and fare flexibility. In summary the technology change allows the combination of flexible data points to shift consumer purchases from price alone to a much broader set of factors. This allows airlines to reduce the consumer perception of airlines being a commodity.
Technology NDC has faced numerous uphill challenges worldwide due to various systems working in concert to deliver these new content offers. This reactive topic was initiated by American Airlines releasing a statement in December 2022 to be ready to deliver NDC content by April 2023.
As Online Booking Tools (OBT's) haven’t completed their NDC revamp. A fragmented interim solution being offered by OBT’s is the Travelfusion connection. Travelfusion is a low cost GDS offering direct NDC content that doesn’t encompass complete control of the booking. This is creating problematic issues for reservation changes and supporting downline reservations with multiple carriers and providers in a record.
Often Our team of travel professionals have been working with our GDS, third party technology and the online booking tool partners to test functionality through the entire reservation lifecycle. Our agents will be trained on selling travel in the NDC environment.
We have always sourced content in multiple ways, weighing the benefits and disadvantages to the program and overall traveler experience. With NDC comes new operational processes for our Travel Consultants, mid-office quality control checks, and back-office reporting. Our agents will be trained on selling travel in the NDC environment. Using Travelfusion is not optimal because there are potential service issues that are inevitable when losing full control of the entire record. Therefore, we will wait for OBT’s to implement NDC content in their tools directly. This is expected to occur within the next several months or sooner and we will diligently continue to test to be prepared.
Check out the recording of our webinar and our Q&A recap below where we discussed NDC updates
led by World Travel, Inc.’s EVP of Operations, Pam Zager, and World Travel, Inc.’s CIO, Ivan Imana.
Click on the button below to listen to Tom Kershaw of Travelport speak to NDC at our Spring Symposium in April 2023.