The SkyTeam Alliance announced a new system that will enable airline personnel throughout its network access to passenger itineraries across all 20 carriers at 43 airports worldwide.
The SkyTeam Rebooking system, which began rolling out in November 2017, is designed to link across multiple global reservations systems, solving a very common problem for airline passengers booking flights that connect and/or code share with other network carriers.
The platform allows any alliance member’s ticketing agents to access the original or an active copy of the customer itinerary to rebook and reissue an electronic ticket regardless of which SkyTeam carrier sold the ticket or which reservation system hosts the booking. The alliance says that rebooking and ticketing on the new flight “happens in just a few minutes."
SkyTeam boards about 730 million passengers a year on more than 16,600 daily flights to more than 1,000 destinations. Carriers in the alliance include: Aeroflot, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta Air Lines, Garuda Indonesia, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Saudia, Vietnam Airlines and Xiamen Airlines
SkyTeam Rebooking is being rolled out in two phases, with the service available now in 21 countries, across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Delta agents will have access to the system in the second phase of the rollout, due to be completed in late 2018 in the U.S. and Canada.
Once fully implemented, SkyTeam said, frontline agents for all 20 alliance airlines will be able to access reservations and rebook customers onto another member’s flights using their own reservations platform.
Customers affected by disruption to their travel plans can present themselves at a SkyTeam member airline’s ticket or transfer desk, up to 48 hours before departure, to be rerouted onto the next available SkyTeam flight.
“Delays and cancellations are a fact of life in travel, but with SkyTeam Rebooking, we are tackling the issue head-on to deliver more seamless service to customers, especially when their journey doesn’t go as planned,” said Perry Cantarutti, SkyTeam’s CEO.
“Irregular operations are a moment of truth for airlines and a critical opportunity to demonstrate customer centricity. Since the rollout of SkyTeam Rebooking began, thousands of passengers have been helped by our members, thanks to this new technology.”
Only airline and airport personnel will be able to access the system. “The original scope of the project was to create this functionality for our 20 members,” said a SkyTeam alliance spokesperson in an email to Travel Market Report. “At this stage, there are no plans to roll it out to agents.
Across the world, at least one airline has implemented SkyTeam Rebooking in 21 of SkyTeam’s major hubs and 22 non-hubs.
The SkyTeam Rebooking policy prioritizes getting the passenger on the next best available flight, in the same ticketed cabin and airline, on the same day, whenever possible, the company said in a press statement.
The carriers described how during a recent flash strike that impacted airline operations at Frankfurt Airport in Germany, hundreds of customers were rebooked. One customer had a KLM flight with a Delta ticket, flying from Frankfurt, through Amsterdam and onto the U.S. Instead of having to contact Delta’s ticket office, or phone the KLM help desk, an agent was able to access SkyTeam Rebooking and rebooked the customer in minutes.