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SNCF, Amadeus Boost Rail BookingsAugust 27, 2010 By: George Dooley
The French National Railway (SNCF) a subsidiary of Rail Europe, and Amadeus report a partnership to improve and ease the distribution of SNCF rail content to travel agencies and to meet the expectations of international travelers. Amadeus is providing European travel agents easy access to the whole SNCF product range, including fares.
From their Amadeus Selling Platform desktop, travel agents can now book French rail tickets with the booking merged back to the Amadeus Passenger Name Record. In addition, Amadeus Web Services will soon enable travel agents to build a booking interface on their online portal that includes rail in multi-modal displays or in packages.
This latest improvement in SNCF rail content distribution follows the recent successful deployment of e-ticketing technology, which is available on most French domestic routes and soon to international trains, Amadeus reports. With E-Ticketing, travelers can receive a PDF file with a bar code via e-mail. This can be printed at home or at the office as with air or car travel.
Amadeus believes that travelers benefit from an improved experience with hassle-free boarding, by just showing the e-ticket to the on-board controller, exchange and refund over the phone or the Internet, and a smooth rail journey downtown to downtown. To benefit, Amadeus Travel agencies have to get a SNCF accreditation via the local Rail Europe subsidiary.
“By leveraging on Amadeus solutions developed with SNCF on the French market, any European travel agency equipped with Amadeus will access in 'real time' to all improvements such as E-ticket,” commented Fabien Soulet, international sales director, SNCF.
“Unlike the airlines, the rail industry does not have a common standard data exchange, therefore, making a rail booking requires good railway functionality knowledge and the ability to use several rail booking applications,” commented Diane Bouzebiba, Head of Amadeus Rail. “This is a win-win for all parties: for SNCF – who benefit from a greater reach – and for the travel agent, who has a back office feed, improved productivity and access to relevant content to provide a better service for the traveler.”