In October 2017, I wrote a blog about the technical and commercial challenges of NDC. The title was “The reality behind NDC: Why NDC won’t break down the GDS oligopoly – yet”; A year later, I guess one can say for sure that the last word “yet” of the title can be erased. The New Distribution Capability – or in short NDC – will come that’s for sure, but primarily through the GDSs! Continue reading
It sounds so easy to use NDC, but the reality is: Not too many bookings are being made. Why?
Airlines including Lufthansa, British Airways, Iberia and American have announced direct connect initiatives via NDC. They either introduced charges to book through a GDS or will be offering additional capabilities if booked directly through their NDC interface. When it comes to costs (or certain fares not being available in preferred channels) it affects everybody. It sounds so easy to use NDC, but the reality is: Not too many bookings are being made – especially for business travel. Why is that? Continue reading
Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, the Bitcoin & Ether rollercoaster – is it a digital revolution or a fake hype? What does it mean for travel? Are you missing out?
The frequent reader of this blog knows that I’m not blogging every other week in order to boost the Google ranking of this blog, but I rather try to dive deep into topics that may matter and provide as much information as possible to explain the topic. My goal is to create the articles of this blog as a one-stop shop in order to get a comprehensive overview of the topic. So, this time I want to touch another hype topic: Blockchain (in travel). Continue reading
Complicated topics explained in a simple way: Today let us understand what incentives, commission & overrides are.
I spoke a lot about Incentives, commission & overrides in my blog post about the US Airways vs. Sabre trial, where many numbers came to light and provided insight into the money flow here. But this time, I want to focus on what those numbers actually mean. Continue reading
Complicated topics explained in a simple way: Today let us understand what active and passive segments are.
First of all, what is a segment? We often talk about booking, segments, etc. but I have not yet provided a clear explanation of a segment other than that a booking on average has 2 ½ segments. Continue reading
Complicated topics explained in a simple way: What is the difference between booking, waitlisting, ticketing, codeshare and interlining?
Everybody who has ever traveled has come across those terms, but have you ever wondered what they all mean? This article of the series Travel Technology for Dummies will shed some light on what it means if somebody has a booking, is waitlisted or actually has a ticket (or an interline ticket). Continue reading
Complicated topics explained in a simple way: Last time I explained what a booking reference or PNR is. Today let us talk about the Passenger Service System (PSS).
The PSS usually comprises of the Central Reservation System (CRS), in other words booked inventory, an airline inventory system (free inventory) and a departure control system (DCS). It is basically the technology an airline needs: Continue reading
Complicated topics explained in a simple way: Today let us look at booking references or PNRs.
What is a booking reference or PNR? A booking reference, also referred to as a PNR or Record Locator, is the airline’s internal identifier for your flight booking within their computer system. It is generated by the airline’s computer system, not by the travel agent or GDS. If your flights involve different airlines, there are often separate PNRs for each carrier for use within their respective systems, but you may be given only the ticketing airline’s PNR. Continue reading
Let the corporate travel war begin? The market for business-trip booking tools is moving forward – one might even say it’s one “jumbo merger” after another.
What began in 2014 with the takeover of Concur by SAP continued in 2016. KDS will become part of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and Amadeus is well on its way to completely take over I-Fao with its online booking engine “Cytric”. At the same time, Sabre is increasingly pushing towards European markets. The winds of change are getting stronger: this is also demonstrated by the fact that GBT and SAP Concur have terminated their reseller partnership. Continue reading
Last week US Airways (now American Airlines) and Sabre made their final pleas to the jury – the five-year-plus antitrust case draw to a close. My prediction became true: There is no winner.
The verdict is in. American Airlines will receive $ 5.1 million in damages – 11.5 percent of what they’d sought. The battle will go on, Sabre will file a motion or appeal, and we are back to square one. Bottom line, attorneys aside, no winner only be losers. The money awarded will hardly cover the expenses of this lawsuit. [UPDATE 3/7/17: Even though the Award is tripled according to Texas law, US Airways disclosed legal costs exceeded $ 122 million ($ 84.5M in attorney fees, $ 36.6M in attorney expenses & almost $ 0.9M in statutory costs), while Sabre estimated their legal fees between $ 35-$ 50 million]. Will airlines now be free to negotiate any deals they may want? I hardly doubt it.
Did GDSs pay $ 1.2 billion to avoid multi-source agent desktops? And how much does it cost to develop multi-content booking tools?
Graphical travel user interfaces (GUIs) such as agent desktops, online booking tools and mobile interfaces have been around for a while by now. While they are pretty successful in the online booking space with an adoption at around 90 percent, they are still lagging behind with agents who love their cryptic screen or “green screen”, how this terminal access is called by insiders referring to the ancient IBM 3270 terminals. Continue reading
Do you want to get a better or a fundamental knowledge of the travel industry? Then you should definitely follow my blog. Today I would like to introduce you to the basic structure of the travel industry.
The travel market is based on supply and demand. On the supply side we can find providers for rental cars, hotels, cruises, rail and of course air travel. Continue reading
After showing our point of view on the advantages of IATA’s NDC, we would now like to throw some last thoughts into the discussion. Therefore we find it interesting to compare the travel industry with successful technology companies.
Sounds interesting? Indeed, it is – as well as dangerous… Continue reading
In a previous article, we we talked about the latest evolution of the travel agent desktops. We went through the different business moves of travel technology providers that led them from green screens to graphical interfaces and the arrival of multi sources platforms.
We also analyzed the role of TMCs, underlining their need to improve internal processes and service quality as well as their interest in reducing dependence from GDSs.
Internet has revolutionized the way in which people plan and book travel. Travelers became more comfortable with the idea of doing their own research and travel arrangements without travel agents.
According to Michael Strauss, CEO of PASS Consulting Corporation, in 2010, “already more than half of the bookings are being made online in EMEA as well as in North America”. The latest figures from a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc estimate that the online travel will reach US$533.8 billion by 2018.
Following the philosophy “The best way to predict the future is to create it” (Willy Brandt, former German chancellor and Nobel Peace Price winner), PASS Consulting celebrated its 30-year anniversary on April 1.
PASS Consulting was founded in 1981 by the former computer science student Gerhard Rienecker. He had the vision of developing an individual software program at the price of a standard software that is based on reusable components. Continue reading
Quite a while ago Google proposed its acquisition of technology provider ITA for $ 700 million. This caused turmoil in the industry and led to an investigation by the Department of Justice to find out if this acquisition violates antitrust law.
Since experts assume that there will be a judgement soon, it is time to review all the facts, analyze the current situation and the implications this acquisition might have for the travel industry. Continue reading
Agents do not want to give up the option of data entry and booking via the keyboard despite new graphical booking interfaces. The PASS graphical desktop interfaces for agents are designed for operation with and without a mouse.
Developments at Amadeus USA show the importance of taking agents’ usage habits into account in designing graphical interfaces: the company has postponed the rollout of its new “Amadeus One” agent desktop. Among other reasons, this was done because it became obvious that a graphical interface would be accepted by agents only if full operability was available via the keyboard. Continue reading
What do business travelers – the backbone of corporations – really need from their TMCs? What if the cost is almost down to nothing? Where does trend end – when we have to bring our own seat along with our own headset? What about innovation?
It seems like TMCs have been judged whether they own processes such as booking or fulfillment capabilities, people, facilities, global operations, etc. With new technology however everything mentioned before – even people – is exchangeable. Continue reading
PASS Consulting Corporation, a leading source of end-to-end technology and services and a recognized industry innovator in the competitive business travel marketplace, successfully presented their Travel Technology Solutions for the fifth year at the 2009 NBTA Convention in San Diego.
With more than 400 exhibiting companies and over 5,600 corporate travel professionals attending, the NBTA Convention is the most recognized trade show in Business Travel. Continue reading