Scott Barber

Wrapping your head around the NDC is like trying to understand modern art – you can fake your way through it or let an expert like Scott Barber from Travelport break it down for you.

New Distribution Capability—commonly referred to as NDC—has been a buzzword lately in the travel industry, and that buzz is getting louder.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will soon, as the newest technology in the travel space is here to provide a more retail-based approach to buying travel.

So why should travellers care about this? Because it’s going to offer a more personalised approach to delivering travel offers which previously may not have been possible.

Let’s start by understanding what NDC is:

 

WHAT IS THE NDC?

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At its core, NDC is centered on using more modern transactional methods to communicate information between airlines and Travel Agents.

In simple terms, it means that with NDC in place, Travel Agents will have access to the full breadth of an airline’s products (including add-ons like baggage fees, pre-assigned seats, boarding privileges), which provides more transparency on what a fare includes, the opportunity to tailor purchases and overall, a more streamlined purchasing experience.

Right now, a traveller and their Travel Agent may not have complete visibility of all the services which they can book to enhance the travel experience, like how the seats look or what meals are available, for instance.

With NDC in place, Agents and clients will have access to this information and potentially visuals which will help make more informed decisions while booking travel.

 

Now that you know WHAT the NDC is, here are the few benefits Agents and travellers will experience when NDC comes into effect:

 

1. CUSTOMISED SHOPPING

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Travellers are consumers, and NDC will provide an ‘Amazon-style’ shopping experience, where your profile will customise the search results to suit your individual preferences.

It will also allow richer content with visuals where you will be able to view the planes, seats and even meals, similar to browsing a shopping site or choosing a movie on Netflix which shows recommendations based on your preferences and history.

These features will add convenience and maybe even a touch of pampering to your travel experience.

 

2. BETTER SERVICE FROM AGENTS

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NDC makes even more information available to Travel Agents, which supplements their existing knowledge of the industry and provides an end-to-end process management which ensures a very smooth booking experience for travellers.

Additionally, travellers will have access to tailored bundling of add-ons via their Travel Agents, providing packages on inclusions most suited to their needs on that particular trip.

 

3. ONE-STOP SHOP

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NDC will enable travellers and Agents to book all related services to enhance the travel experience, easily and efficiently.

They’ll be able to buy extras such as seat upgrades, extra baggage or lounge access all at the same time and from the same place.

This way, travellers can rest assured that they will experience the most hassle-free and smooth commute to their holiday or work destination.

 

4. MORE TRANSPARENCY

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The new technology will provide greater access to products and services and increased transparency to all available options such as Wi-Fi access, plane type, and entertainment options.

This ensures Agents and their clients are in a better position to make an informed decision on travel plans with no last-minute airport surprises.

Overall, this technology evolution means more empowerment for Agents and their clients to choose and get end-to-end visibility and choice.

 

SO, WHEN WILL NDC BE HERE?

 

NDC is in the early stages with education being the focus for most airlines and Agents. 2018 has been designated as the year in which the ‘plumbing’ gets fixed to enable NDC, ramping up to IATA’s goal to have 20 percent of 20 airlines transactions being processed through NDC by 2020.

Locally Qantas is leading the charge, launching its NDC program which they call Qantas Distribution Platform or QDP. The future looks bright with this new technology which is set to strengthen its roots to benefit the industry and the travellers.

The industry is well supported by Travelport who has been a long-standing supporter of NDC and was the first GDS to be certified at the highest level by IATA as an NDC aggregator.

Travelport is actively working with several airlines and its anticipated we will start to see IATA content available through Travelport later this year helping to provide a state of the art travel experience to globe trotters.

 

Do you have any other questions about the NDC?