Travel agents in over 60 markets will now be able to book travelers’ preferred seats in Economy Class in advance of travel, thanks to a new agreement with Lufthansa and Amadeus.
The new agreement that will see the airline sell advance seat reservation as an ancillary product in the travel agency channel using Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services.
The agreement, which also applies to Lufthansa’s subsidiary Austrian Airlines, Austria’s flag carrier, means that travel agents using Amadeus in 63 markets worldwide will be able to book advance seat reservations in Economy Class for travelers flying on domestic and European routes. Additionally, passengers will be able to purchase seats offering extra leg room both on continental and intercontinental routes, Amadeus notes.
Travel agents using Amadeus will be able to reserve the traveller’s preferred seat in advance for a small additional fee, which will vary depending on whether they select a standard seat or an exit row seat with its additional legroom, Amadeus says. Passengers without an advance seat reservation are able to choose their seat free of charge only at check-in.
Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will also adopt Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services to distribute ancillary services through their website in the first half of 2014. By launching the advance seat reservation product worldwide in the travel agency channel, the two flag carriers will be embracing a multi-channel approach to merchandising with Amadeus. Both airlines use Electronic Miscellaneous Documents, the IATA standard solution for fulfilling bookings for ancillary services.
“Merchandising products and services is a priority for airlines in order to differentiate their offer, meet the personalization needs of their customers and optimize their revenues,” said Decius Valmorbida, VP of distribution marketing at Amadeus. “By offering this new product using Amadeus, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines join 76 other airlines who recognize how Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services can help them shift comparison of airline fares from price to service. This helps carriers compete more effectively.”
The new partnership follows Amadeus' entry into low-cost carrier bookings. easyJet is the first carrier to become a light ticketing airline in the Amadeus system, Amadeus reports, improving the way in which travel agents access, book and provide service when selling easyJet flights.
Additionally, Amadeus recently acquired Newmarket International, a provider of cloud-based group and event IT solutions to the hotel industry. The addition of Newmarket will significantly strengthen the Amadeus Group’s expertise and experience in the hotel IT industry, a key target sector for future growth, Amadeus said.