ARC has come out in support of the IATA’s Resolution 787, an effort to set what IATA calls “high-level objectives” for XML standards.
Central to the concept is IATA’s controversial New Distribution Capability.
Mike Premo, ARC’s president and CEO, submitted a filing with the Department of Transportation that supports IATA’s application to the DOT for approval of Resolution 787.
Premo wrote that Resolution 787 will “improve the competitive nature” of the travel agent sales channel and “be of obvious benefit to both travel agents and their customers.”
He said that Resolution 787 lays the groundwork for new technical capabilities that will let airlines provide customized offerings that travel agents can sell to their customers.
Right now, he wrote, some of these offers, such as inflight WiFi, are not “conveniently available” through the travel agent channel and that adopting XML standards will “provide the foundation for such offerings.”
He said that XML would not replace Edifact, an older language used by GDSs, “but supplement and improve upon it.”
Premo said that the new interface would “accommodate financial settlement by ARC on neutral electronic forms. ARC’s settlement system provides the best option for travel agents. Its ease of use and efficiencies are well-established, and this new application would be well-served by incorporating these processes.”
While ARC supports Resolution 787, other filings have urged the DOT to delay action on the resolution in order to gather more information.
Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, a coalition of travel distributors and sellers, asked for more information and more time to analyze that information. I
It said that Resolution 787 is an effort to “terminate” the current airline shopping system that allows consumers to “comparison shop anonymously and efficiently.”
Corporate travel agency World Travel Inc. said that it agrees on the benefits that XML would provide, but that IATA’s application doesn’t lay out the “true impact” of NDC.
World Travel said that IATA’s filing doesn’t provide adequate information on how travelers’ historical data would be used or how much NDC will cost travel agencies.
Follow Kate Rice on Twitter @krtravelweekly.