ATPCO automates coronavirus waivers for travel agents

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ATPCO automates coronavirus waivers for travel agents
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ATPCO has developed an automated solution enabling airlines to override existing fare rules and waive change fees in the GDSs.

The solution will go live in the Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport GDSs for American Airlines tickets on June 7. Other airlines are also expected to use the technology. 

As a result, travel agencies won’t have to manually process the voluminous fee waivers and ticket validity extensions that airlines have implemented due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“It is incredibly time-consuming for each airline and agency to manually process changes to tickets,” Eloise Rorke, ATPCO’s lead for product development, wrote in a recent blog. “Each airline was trying to come up with their own solution and nothing was working the same way across all channels. ATPCO saw this happening and, as a service organization to the industry, started looking for ways to help.”

In an email, American spokeswoman Rachel Warner said the carrier helped champion development of the new solution alongside ATPCO and other technology partners. She said that when it goes live, the solution will restore a sense of normalcy for agencies. 

Following the launch, the GDSs will be able to automatically price American’s free change fee for impacted tickets, meaning agencies won’t have to manually review policies against each ticket. 

At present, American is allowing one free change for all tickets purchased by May 31 for travel between March and September. Validity on such tickets has also been extended through 2021, In addition, ticket validity has been extended through 2021 for all unused ticket that were slated to expire between this March and this September.

Airline-owned ATPCO uploads fare data into the GDSs. American, Delta and United are part of the ownership group.

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