Image via Routehappy

Routehappy by ATPCO today announced the launch of new codeshare Universal Product Attributes (UPAs) on Travix-owned websites for select Star Alliance member airlines. The new UPAs give online flight shoppers greater transparency around the amenities included on flights sold by one carrier but operated by another.

As airlines forge broader partnerships to expand their route maps they must engage in a marketing exercise terribly confusing to passengers: The codeshare. Putting multiple airlines’ flight numbers on a single segment helps the airlines sell their seats, but travelers are often left confused by which airline is operating the flight and what the onboard experience will include. Routehappy by ATPCO already helps travelers know what to expect on board flights around the globe through its proprietary Universal Product Attributes (UPAs). This week the UPAs expand to include codeshare flights, further improving passenger awareness and demystifying the experience.

The airlines and Routehappy understand the product differentiation challenges and came together to build the solution. Initially driven by Star Alliance members Air Canada, Lufthansa Group airlines (Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, and SWISS) and United Airlines, the project allowed all parties to reconsider the purchase process and change the way flights are marketed. As Routehappy VP, Client Integration Megan Beardsley explains, “A codeshare is not that simple a concept. For your average traveler it is not straightforward. We need to reassure passengers – to remove the complexity – so they are more comfortable in the booking process. We want to motivate passengers but also present the data in a fair and transparent way.”

“We want to motivate passengers but also present the data in a fair and transparent way.” – Megan Beardsley, Routehappy

The codeshare UPAs describe the flight experience of each leg of a journey, with jointly created UPAs to address questions about the codeshare experience. Among the areas covered are security procedures, check-through baggage and mileage accrual. The core UPAs around in-flight services such as meals, entertainment and connectivity, and seating are layered in as well, fully explaining the experience for passengers before they purchase the tickets.

The codeshare UPAs officially launch today for the Travix-owned websites, including Vayama.com and the CheapTickets franchises across Europe.

Beardsley expects the product to grow and evolve as the company begins to collect usage data and feedback from airlines, booking partners and passengers. She describes the codeshare UPAs as “more of a product design solution than a technology solution,” and expects that the improved merchandising will see airlines reconsider the way they price and market tickets. “Historically it has always been driven by pricing and revenue management. With the UPAs you start thinking differently about how a fare is constructed. It is not just about bundling things but about making the bundle easier to understand.”

Routehappy is already working with other airlines and booking channels to expand the new codeshare UPA offering. The company expects that codeshare UPAs will soon appear in direct booking channels as well, significantly reducing merchandising complexity for the airlines as they increase their direct sales efforts.