Amadeus is making it easier for travel agents to make and manage bookings for low-cost and hybrid carriers, according to Alexandre Jorre, senior manager of commercial marketing.
EasyJet, the huge low-cost European airline based in Luton, U.K., is the first carrier to become a “light ticketing” airline.
Light ticketing is a new ticketless access level that generates a virtual ticket number to help standardize agency workflow. Pricing, ticketing and booking functionality offers the same look and feel as for other carriers.
“We are improving the way agents can manage content for EasyJet,” Jorre told Travel Market Report. “We’ve improved the workflow across availability, pricing, issuance and reporting.”
He said the goal was to make availability and shopping as simple and efficient for low-cost carriers and hybrids as they are for traditional carriers, with side-by-side comparisons with other airlines serving a route.
Agents can access EasyJet content from the standard Neutral Availability and Schedule displays alongside all other airlines in one single screen.
The technology also enables the sale of ancillary products and services, Jorre said.
“A big differentiator is the capability to perform changes to a reservation,” according to Jorre.
“Re-issuing a ticket on EasyJet was totally manual last week. Now we’ve added automation that enables both ticket changes and changes in ancillary services,” he said.
“A change can be made in just a few keystrokes.”
Another big change relates to issuance. Low-cost carriers do not issue tickets or report through IATA’s billing and settlement plans.
“All those airlines remain ticketless, but we provide a virtual ticket number to feed sales reports,” he said. “We send it to agents for back-office processing.”
EasyJet bookings will be fully integrated into the agent’s internal and external reporting. The virtual ticket number acts as a locator throughout the fulfillment process.
“That removes all the differences” between booking a low-cost carrier and a traditional airline, Jorre said.
Amadeus currently is rolling out the new capability country by country in Europe and will make it available worldwide by the end of the year, Jorre said.