The online flight shopping experience is about to become a far richer experience. Amadeus and Sabre, two of the largest distribution platforms, signed agreements to include ATPCO’s Routehappy rich airline content within their portfolios of flight shopping applications and interfaces. The distribution scope includes travel seller and traveler applications powered by both platforms, as well as flight shopping APIs are used by many corporate booking tools and online travel agencies to access flights for sale.
Both distributors also agreed to support the Next Generation Storefront (NGS) display model that delivers a more modern and detailed comparison of the amenities and service tiers available for passengers.
With IATA’s New Distribution Capability, ATPCO’s Next Generation Storefront™, [and] Routehappy Rich Content … modernized flight shopping is finally here at scale. Over the next five years, world-class airline retailing will become the norm, making flight selling much more valuable for the industry and providing consumers many more choices for a better shopping experience. The airline industry has just taken a giant leap forward.– Robert Albert, EVP Retailing at ATPCO (formerly Founder & CEO Routehappy)
The rich content available via Amadeus and Sabre includes common inflight amenity attributes such as legroom, meals and Wi-Fi as well as fee policies related to seat selection and baggage. Moreover, the ATPCO Routehappy data can deliver visual and descriptive content, such as images and video, about the offers to consumers. Both Amadeus and Sabre will take advantage of the Routehappy API as well as flat-file data feeds to improve the content displayed in their systems.
The flat-file option helps speed development cycles and improves response time for some query types. Such access is generally reserved for only the largest of Routehappy data integration partners. That is will apply for these two new deals speaks to their size and scope of reach, as well as how important they are to Routehappy as customers
By integrating Routehappy’s rich content into the Amadeus Travel Platform, travelers and travel sellers alike will benefit from the enhanced ability to compare travel provider offers through flight attributes, photos, and richer descriptions. This is yet another step in Amadeus’ strategy to drive the digital transformation of the travel industry, and adds to initiatives such as the work we are doing with ATPCO on the Next Generation Storefront™ (NGS), and the progress we are making with new standards such as NDC and One Order. These are the stepping stones towards a true retailing environment in travel, that we are putting in place together with our customers and industry partners.– Decius Valmorbida, President Travel Channels at Amadeus
The deals also firmly establish ATPCO’s Routehappy as the source for the rich content data that will evolve the shopping experience. Price and schedule still drive the majority of flight choices, but as the additional data presentation expands passengers have the option to consider additional factors. That’s especially good news for (some) airlines as they seek to break away from the commoditization of their product and drive a yield premium over competitors. Today the main tool used in that effort is the punitive Basic Economy fare class. With a combination of the Next Generation Storefront and the rich product amenity data that buying experience will begin to shift.
Our expanded agreement with ATPCO further demonstrates Sabre’s commitment to modernize the airline retailing experience for our customers through next generation retailing, distribution and fulfillment capabilities. This long-term agreement will allow us to enhance our leading air shopping solutions with ATPCO’s Routehappy Rich Content today and in the future as the airline industry continues to evolve.– Wade Jones, president of Sabre Travel Network
Both vendors are keen to integrate the data, but acknowledge that this is a major undertaking. The timelines discussed are on the “months to years” scale rather than “weeks to months.” Some bits will come along sooner than others. But, like most things related to airline retailing, this will not be a quick transition.
This week’s news follows announcements over the summer from Google Flights , CTrip, and TravelSky, three other major players in the flight shopping arena to similarly include or expand their relationships with ATPCO and the Routehappy data.
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