Through the current edition of its official publication, Airlines International, the International Air Transport Association has said that GDS channels must offer a full range of airline products – not just “very basic metrics such as price, time and routing”. Airlines today offer a range of optional add-on services, but these continue to be missing from the GDS screens that travel agents use, meaning that passengers lack the possibility of arranging these options.
“Technology with origins dating back to the 1960s, such as that imposed upon travel agencies by the GDS middlemen, simply cannot support the nature of the data required to provide accurate, dynamic price quotes consistent with the way consumers are buying travel today,” the article reads. “Unbundling the product means that passengers can pay a basic price for the flight itself and then choose from a range of service add-ons, such as preferential seating, priority boarding, meal service, and baggage.”
The article says: “It is a crucial line of income. Ancillary revenues were worth in the region of $32.5 billion to the industry in 2011 according to an Amadeus and IdeaWorks report. That’s an enormous 43.8% increase on 2010. To make the most of the potential, airlines need an efficient distribution system.” However, “the areas of comparison are limited to some very basic metrics such as price, time, and routing – just as they were four decades ago.”
Travel Agent Central
[photo: Swedavia/Daniel Asplund]