NDC is a feature-rich way for airlines to share their product offering in their indirect distribution channels with more efficiency and flexibility while offering more relevant information to the traveler. It’s transforming the way the travel industry sells and buys flight related products. Corporations, business travel agencies and corporate travelers can all access this type of content through channels like Amadeus cytric Travel & Expense, and reap the benefits of more exclusive and personalized offers from airlines.
Here are three ways that corporations can leverage NDC to benefit business travelers.
1. Adapting to the needs of business travelers
NDC opens up a world of opportunities to make it easier for airlines to offer corporations the products and services that are just right for them and their travelers. For example, as a tall business traveler, wouldn’t it be convenient if the airline offer already included a seat with extra leg space? Or as a travel manager, the airline could negotiate bundles for certain groups of travelers that include lounge access and fast boarding? This would mean employees don’t have to book, and expense separately.
Ultimately, NDC allows airlines increased flexibility to define and customize bundles based on the unique needs of a corporation.
It’s important however that all of this new content does not come at the cost of other functionalities such as the ability to compare fares, servicing levels, or a higher cost. At Amadeus, our objective is to bring content via NDC into our self-booking and expense tool seamlessly so that the corporate traveler can easily compare flights and book the most suitable option.
We’re making sure that all NDC-enabled content developed by airlines and relevant to corporate travel programs, are available for corporations via NDC. Hence, no matter the content type or the source, corporations and their business travelers have access to a broad range of content, all in one place.
2. End-to-end integration
Arguably, the need for efficient servicing, either by the traveler or through a travel agency, has never been greater than in current times. As more NDC content becomes available, it’s important to ensure that any corporate traveler booking a trip via NDC can easily pick up the phone or drop a line to their travel agent to receive the same level of support as always.
This ensures travelers can not only shop and book NDC-piped content but also make any changes later, in line with their corporate policy. This includes changes, refunds and cancellations, as with any other type of booking. It ensures a good experience for the traveler and allows corporations to meet their duty of care commitments.
That’s why at Amadeus we are spending as much or more time and attention on post-booking capabilities, end-to-end integration and optimized workflow as we are on the initial booking, and prioritizing those capabilities with the greatest benefit to the traveler experience. Over time, we expect to expand and improve on these basic capabilities, leveraging the flexibility that NDC offers.
3. Filters and approval flows in line with corporate travel policy
With Amadeus, travel managers have visibility on the total cost of travel for offers via NDC, including those items that help them define granular policies. For example, by applying filters, the focus would be on the bundles and no longer on the unbundled travel items such as bags or class. Also, since the offers would be based on traveler categories instead of travel items, this could change the way policies are registered. This means travel managers can work with airlines to really narrow down on what they want, and sometimes more importantly what they don’t want, to ensure they have the right content that fits within their corporate policy.
But NDC is not an end goal. It’s the foundation for a broader industry vision toward other initiatives such as ONE Order, Dynamic Offers or One Identity.
But what really matters is that for corporations, we take care of the complexities of integration, so travel managers and business travelers can search, book and manage different airlines’ NDC and other content in an efficient way. With this, corporations are more likely to adopt NDC and corporate travelers are more likely to book these new airline offers.
Watch Amadeus’ Paul de Villiers, Senior VP, Global Accounts and CWT’s Erik Magnuson, VP, Product Management, Mobility & Payments discuss NDC and it’s role in business travel recovery here.