IATA urges DOT to address NDC concerns in Resolution 787

By Kate Rice
IATA said last week that it is urging the Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve its Passenger Services Conference Resolution 787, but it is recommending that the DOT's approval include conditions that address some of the major concerns nonairline stakeholders have voiced about the resolution.

Resolution 787 lays the groundwork for IATA's New Distribution Capability (NDC). NDC is an XML data transmission standard.

IATA said that it had reviewed nearly 400 comments filed by third parties with the DOT.

Tony TylerTony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO, said that while many comments showed that NDC has generated "strong interest and excitement," that there is a need for "greater clarity about the purpose of the NDC standard."

Many of the comments filed with the DOT opposed NDC and Resolution 787 or voiced concerns about the implications of NDC.

Tyler said that NDC is designed "to make it easier for travelers to make an informed decision on price, amenities and services, regardless of where they choose to buy their tickets."

But IATA acknowledged that there have been many concerns about Resolution 787 and NDC that it called "unwarranted," among them the concern that NDC would diminish pricing transparency, pose privacy threats or force airlines and others to adopt NDC.

IATA said that Resolution 787 is clear in saying that those concerns are unwarranted. But, to avoid confusion, IATA proposed that the DOT make it clear in its approval that Resolution 787 would not require passengers to disclose any personal information and that it does not mandate that airlines or intermediaries distribute products and services via the new XML data transmission standard. IATA also proposed that the DOT make it clear that Resolution 787 does not restrict the use of any other data transmission standard, including the existing Edifact standard, nor does it establish a particular business model for the marketing or sale of air transportation.

"These principles are in the letter and spirit of Resolution," Tyler said.

Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly. 
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