The NDC (New Distribution Capability) servicing features that are critical to achieving NDC at scale are those than enable refunds and the management of customer and airline-initiated changes, according to new research by the Travelport hosted NDC Leadership Council.
The NDC Leadership Council was formed by Travelport in 2019 to facilitate the industry-wide collaboration required to ensure NDC’s success. It has a geographically diverse group of participating airlines, agencies and corporate travel managers and providers from companies including American Airlines, Qantas, United Airlines, American Express Global Business Travel, AmTrav, dnata Travel, and UBS.
To conduct the study, members of the NDC Leadership Council individually prioritized a selection of 18 discrete servicing features and then, separately, identified the capabilities that have potential to slow progress if they are not supported, which it called ‘blockers’. The results revealed six of the servicing capabilities to be both key priorities and blockers, and hence, considered by the Council to be mandatory for the success of NDC’s rollout. These were:
|Customer initiated changes – Itinerary (Exchanges)||21 (96%)||2|
|Retrieve an Order||20 (91%)||1|
|Order cancellation – Refund||20 (91%)||3|
|Airline initiated changes – Flight schedule change||20 (91%)||4|
|Airline initiated changes – Flight cancellation||19 (86%)||6|
|Order Cancellation – Cancel||18 (82%)||5|
The results showed strong consensus between agency and airline participants on the six priority capabilities. However, demand for ‘pay using 3D-Secure’, ‘adding an ancillary’ and ‘seat selection’ capabilities was considerably higher among airlines and corporate travel providers. ‘Order history’ was also shown to be in high demand among travel agencies.
“We’ve been delivering NDC for several years and engage our customers at every step of the roll out process to continually improve the NDC shopping, selling, and servicing process” said Kyle Moore, Global Head of Customer Strategy at Travelport. “This detailed research into the priority servicing needs for NDC validates the direction that we have taken to-date. It also highlights the fact that key functionality is in place and that we are now focused on situation-specific features. To that end, we are working with both our airline partners to enable their NDC programs and our agency customers to integrate NDC content into their workflows.”
A full analysis of the findings of this research can be found here. The next NDC Leadership Council meeting will take place in mid-2021.