Two weeks after American Airlines became the first major U.S. airline to roll out NDC content, another major carrier is following suit.
Sabre on Tuesday announced that United Airlines’ NDC content is launching on Sabre Red 360, Sabre APIs, and GetThere effective immediately. Users of those platforms will now get access to United’s NDC products, including ancillary products and paid seats, through Sabre.
Sabre said that users “will also have access to more descriptive information on United’s flight offers as well as seat selection enabled in the booking path. NDC offers from United are currently available in over 70 countries, with more coming soon.”
While NDC content was created in 2015, the last month has represented perhaps the most major shift for travel agencies with United joining American in making the shift despite concerns from the agency community.
The worry, from agencies and from ASTA, has been not all are fully connected to NDC content and that some airlines would shift most of its cheapest fares to direct channels, away from GDSs, which is why ASTA had been pushing for American to delay its move until later this year.
Those concerns were validated when agencies, speaking to TMR this week, said that was the case with American’s move.
In a recent survey of 150 TMR advisor-readers who ticket through a GDS, a majority of users (92%) said that while dropping a basic economy fare from a GDS wouldn’t have a major impact if an airline removes fares outside of basic economy fares, they will look to book alternative airlines. Most of the users (85%) also said that they expect ticket modification or exchanges to be more difficult in the new NDC world.
ASTA is still asking its members to help document any time they experience the negative effects of NDC adoption. ASTA’s Mark Meader, SVP of Industry Affairs, and Peter Lobasso, SVP & General Counsel, will be monitoring an email address created specifically for these issues (NDC.Impact@asta.org). Both members and non-members can help ASTA make its case to the DOT and DOJ by sending issues there.