IRVING, Texas -- American Airlines now can offer New
Distribution Capability-supported product bundles within corporate booking
The bundles, which can be tailored to the needs of a
corporate client, are available through direct connects between the carrier and
travel management companies (TMCs), said American vice president of sales and
distribution strategy Cory Garner at the carrier's NDC Summit here.
Bundles could include free checked bags and free seat
selections as part of the ticket purchase. And American can make the bundles
available to an entire corporation or to only specific portions of it.
The new capability comes as American achieved IATA's Level 3
NDC certification this month, the highest that is awarded, Garner said. Level 3
certification means that an airline can present and process its product
offerings through an NDC-enabled connection as thoroughly as it can in its own
channels. For that full functionality to be enabled, however, a second party,
such as a GDS or TMC, must connect with American through its own Level 3
Certified NDC-enabled solution.
Along with corporate bundles, American also said Friday that
it can use NDC-enabled connections to provide "waivers and favors"
capabilities within a corporate booking site or a travel agency's booking tool.
Waivers and favors is a term used in the industry to
describe a situation in which airlines allow agencies to offer something to a
customer that he couldn't get on his own. For example, airlines will sometimes
make seats available to an agency that aren't available in other channels.
In a third announcement, Garner said that American is now
offering enhanced data services, known as Duty of Care data, to NDC-enabled
partners. For example, American can supply a partner with real-time information
on who has boarded a flight or the flight's precise location as it crosses the
Garner noted that the carrier has no plans to implement a
GDS surcharge like Lufthansa did two years ago and British Airways and Iberia
will do this year. American, he said, isn't trying to push sales out of the
Ideally, American would like the GDSs to achieve IATA's
Level 3 NDC certification so that they could present the carrier's full suite
of ancillary products. At present, American only sells reserved seat upgrades
through the GDSs.
"We want everyone to have NDC connections because that
means we are serving our customers better," Garner said.