Travel Groups to Confront Technology Standards for Air Distribution

airplaneOn the eve of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) World Passenger Symposium in Dublin, Ireland, seven of the largest travel industry groups from Europe and the U.S. - representing consumers, professional travel buyers, travel agents and travel technology providers - will unveil "a collaborative process to help the industry develop technology standards for air travel distribution." 

The groups - who have sharply questioned IATA's controversial New Distribution Capability (NDC) - plan to brief reporters and regulators on October 28 on a "new approach to global travel distribution innovation" that includes all industry stakeholders, "based on pro-traveler principles like transparency, choice and competition."  

RELATED: BTC Challenges IATA's Personal Data Claims on NDC

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Participants include: Christoph Klenner, Secretary General of the European Technology & Travel Services Association;Paul M. Ruden, Esq., SVP Legal & Industry Affairs, American Society of Travel Agents; Charlie Leocha, Director, Consumer Travel Alliance; Kevin P. Mitchell, Chairman, Business Travel Coalition and Steve Shur, President, Travel Technology Association.

IATA's  Dublin World Passenger Symposium is planned for  October 29-31 and will feature IATA's controversial New Distribution Capability in its announced agenda. "NDC is an IATA-led collaborative industry initiative to define a messaging standard that will enable retailing opportunities through the indirect (GDS/travel agent) channel, " IATA says. IATA has forcefully defended the NDC.

RELATED: IATA Says NDC Will Not Require Personal Data

"Currently there is a gap between direct (airline websites) and indirect (GDS/travel agent) channels," IATA says."This is due to the fact that airlines today use two different formats:     

-Internet programing language (XML) through their websites - offering travel consumers an online experience similar in content and display to what they can find on retail websites or     

-Less flexible pre-Internet message protocol (EDIFACT and TELETYPE) when selling through the indirect channel (GDS/travel agent) which does not support personalization and customization," according to IATA. 

 A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ruling on NDC is expected.

Visit www.businesstravelcoalition.com or www.iata.org

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