World airlines push new booking system
THE airline industry is set to allow consumers to see more details of what they are booking, using a new online reservation platform.
Almost two thirds of global ticket sales are made via travel agents, online travel agencies and travel-management companies, rather than the airlines themselves.
While many airline websites can show customers content such as no-frills or bundled offers, travel agents cannot access the same information and services in most cases because of outdated software that uses a computer language developed 40 years ago.
In many cases, customers have no way of comparing different packages, meal prices or the size of seats.
An enhanced Web platform could be widely available within two years if the world's airlines prevail, with a pilot demonstration with real transactions planned for October this year at the World Passenger Summit in Dublin.
The New Distribution Capability standard aims to give consumers the same online experience, regardless of how or where they do their travel shopping.
Members of Iata, the world airline-industry organisation, met in Cape Town this week and passed a resolution approving it.