TripActions launches new booking platform with Delta's seal of approval

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Less than a month after Delta pulled its content from TripActions, it is returning with a vengeance as TripActions rolls out a new flight-booking tool that is among the first to use ATPCO's Next Generation Storefront standards.

TripActions' new air shopping platform -- which the travel management company developed with Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines -- will start rolling out to travelers on Wednesday and will become available to all travelers within a few months, said TripActions head of product Anique Drumright. 

The platform is designed to enable travelers to better compare flight options when searching an origin and destination based on the diverging classes of travel. Rather than sorting them into the traditional tiers defined by individual airlines, the platform uses a six-star rating system developed by ATPCO to classify options based on included product, ancillaries and restrictions. 

"TripActions' mission is to make everything as smooth, fun and easy as possible," CEO Ariel Cohen said. "Airlines have all of these new cabins, and we're really bringing this together in our new platform."

Basic economy fares, for example, would largely always fall in the one-star category, and standard economy fares would fall into the two-star category. Premium economy, business and first-class options, however, can differ by airline, so the star categories give the traveler a better idea of what to expect.

TripActions' platform pulls in data from global distribution systems, its direct airline relationships, FlightStats and Routehappy, which ATPCO acquired last year. Together, those relationships provide access to flight performance stats like on-time percentage rates, as well as airline content like photos and maps of seats, branded fares and in-flight amenities. Companies also can color code flights to show travelers what is in policy. 

"When you're thinking about creating a great experience, you're talking about choice and speed," Drumright said. "I can immediately see what's in my policy and aligned with my company, and the results I am mostly like to book will be at the top."

Delta, meanwhile, which had pulled its content because TripActions' platform did not meet its display requirements, is praising the new platform. Delta vice president of global distribution and digital strategy Rhonda Crawford said the carrier is working with other providers to develop a tool meeting the ATPCO standards but added, "It's no surprise that a small tech startup in Silicon Valley would beat the others to the space."
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Source: Business Travel News

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