On 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."
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.
"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.