Image via Qantas

APEX Insight: IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) was designed to make it easier for airlines to retail their products, giving brick and mortar and digital travel agents access to more product information. The new Qantas Distribution Platform (QDP) makes the most of these capabilities, offering customers the opportunity to explore the features of their booking, add ancillary services and be recognized for their loyalty status.

Qantas’ new QDP (Qantas Distribution Platform) gives travel agents more power to make the right bookings for their customers with tailored offerings and customer loyalty recognition features. In addition to presenting the customer with images of the cabin and in-flight meals, ancillary products like seating with extra legroom, and recognition of the traveler’s Qantas Frequent Flyer tier status, QDP enables a personalized booking experience, with special negotiated corporate fare conditions and baggage allowance information based on Qantas Frequent Flyer status. (Qantas has effectively grown its Frequent Flyer program into a cornerstone of its lifestyle brand.)

The airline developed the new platform in partnership with Miami-based airline technology company Farelogix and has been certified to IATA NDC Level 3, the highest certification.

“The Qantas Distribution Platform will enable our trade partners to provide customers with a more personalized experience, beyond what traditional technology has been able to deliver,” said Qantas chief customer officer Vanessa Hudson. “There have never been more ways for a customer to research and book their travel. We want to make the booking experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible, no matter their booking channel preference. This new platform will help us provide that to our trade partners and customers, modernizing the way Qantas delivers content.”

Qantas’ agency partners can access QDP either through approved partner connections or by developing a connection to the airline’s NDC XML Application Program Interface (API). Travelport, Serko, and CTM have already adopted QDP and Qantas is working with other GDS (Global Distribution System) and travel agencies on broader adoption.

Farelogix has been helping airlines develop better retailing capabilities with NDC integrations, including by helping Emirates Flights launch on Alitrip with graphical seat maps. The company has also launched a collaboration with Florida International University to advance Artificial Intelligence applications for airline retailing.

NDC integrations and rich content exchange are becoming must-haves for sophisticated airline retailing. Routehappy and GDS Sabre have developed an integration for the Sabre Red platform that gives clients access to detailed product information to ensure bookings are tailored to passenger needs.

Wade Jones, Sabre Travel Network’s senior vice-president of Marketing said, “Traveler expectations have evolved to where they are looking for complete information about their travel experience.”

GDS Amadeus also integrated Routehappy Universal Product Attributes in its Amadeus Selling Platform Connect.