Air Travel is evolving, and a GDS on its own is no longer sufficient to be able to cater to the needs of business and leisure travellers. For a start, clients now use low cost flights and charter flights in addition to scheduled flights. As a travel organiser, your role is no longer about just booking a seat, but about ensuring that your client’s entire air travel experience meets their expectations.
Agency users can either use the flight booking module alongside their GDS, or they can use a GDS simulator that mimics the functionality of the GDS within the system. The GDS simulation will allow users to validate any PNR’s created against any stored fares that are not available through CAT35. The simulator will also allow queues and messages to be managed from within the Trip Manager system. Any bookings made will also seamlessly integrate with the holiday builder module and the back office system.
Published fares will be extracted from the GDS and updated within the flight system so that agency users can see static fares and rules alongside seat sale and IT fares. The published fares can also be used in special offer promotions and as part of packaged itineraries where relevant. The system will also allow users to build hybrid fares that combine net and published fares.
Net & IT Fares
Our travel platform allows you to store all net and IT fares within the fares database. Whilst CAT35 offers allows travel organisers to store and search most net fares, CAT35 does not cater for specialist fares such as fares that are to be used in conjunctions with certain hotels, companion fares for specific holidays and kids go free fares used in combination with specific package holidays. Our net fares database provides travel organisers with a system that allows them to deal with the most complex fare rules, and also provides more scalable and dynamic when searching for fares than available via CAT35.
The fares database on our platform is especially useful for client self service functions. Because the rules database contains all information relating to a fare including change fees, cancellation charges, routing information, class mixing restrictions, flight number restrictions and many other rules; the system is able to allow clients to amend or cancel their own flight itineraries, pay the correct penalties, and re-issue their ticket.
Low Cost Airlines and Charter Flights
Most low cost carriers and charter providers do not provide their content through a GDS. Historically, travel organisers would have to use the charter/low cost airlines website, or trade login function (if available) to find prices and itineraries. The problem with this was that it required searching multiple systems and then manually comparing all the possible options. Our travel platform brings in prices, availability and schedules from most of the leading low cost and charter flight providers and displays fares alongside published and net fares on scheduled airlines. This is useful for both travel organisers on back end systems as well as on front end client facing websites.
Tour operators that have commitments on charter seats or even those that have non committed or committed allotment on scheduled airlines will be able to store this information within the flight module. Pricing can be set manually per flight, or automated using the yield management functionality. All allocated air inventory will be visible to travel organisers alongside scheduled, charter and low cost pricing and availability. Allocated pricing and availability can also be displayed to the public on website searches for flight only or as part of package holidays.
Airline and airport content
The flight module will allow content, images, guides and maps relating to airlines and airports to be stored within the database. This information can be used on websites for customers and within the system for travel organisers.
Round the world
Complex round the world fare information is handled easily and efficiently within the flights module. Travel organisers and clients using public facing website will be able to use interactive world maps to view options when building round the world itineraries.
Validation of bookings
Any PNR created can be validated against any fares stored within the system. The database will validate all defined criteria such as routing, booking class and flight number restrictions to minimise the risk of ADMs. The system can also validate any flight itinerary against a pre defined set of rules. For example, there may be a particular hotel that insists guests booked on FIT rates that arrive before 9am must have a room booked from the night before. In such cases, if hotel room was not booked from the night before, the system would alert the travel organiser to allow the issue to be remedied.
Add-on, Triangular and code share fares
Add on fares, triangular fares and code shares have always presented a particular challenge to travel organisers. These fares can offer exceptional value, but unfortunately, most systems simply cannot handle them. The result is that the client will only benefit from this type of fare when dealing with a travel organiser that specialises in a particular product or destination, and that knows how to manually calculate this type of fare. Fortunately, our travel platform has been designed to calculate triangular, add on and code share fares. This allows travel organisers of any background to ensure that clients always have access to best deals on the most convenient itineraries.
Auto search and rebook lower priced fares
Although churning itineraries, or cancelling segments within an itinerary to book a lower fare class is a strict no-no, many travel organisers simply book clients onto a new PNR when lower classes become available. This can often mean increasing profit margins on bookings by hundreds of pounds. The problem with this is that it is a traditional resource intensive job, and only makes money if the person checking the availability is lucky enough to be on the system at the right time. Our platform automates this process by constantly checking the availability of itineraries that have already been booked but not ticketed. If a lower fare becomes available, the system can either automate the rebooking of a new PNR or alert the travel organiser to do this manually.
The result is more higher margins much more frequently and achieved at a much lower cost!