Air France is adopting Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services (AAAS), a suite of solutions that will enable the carrier to distribute its ancillary offerings to travel agencies.
The initial implementation allows travel agencies in France to book Seat Plus, the airline’s premium economy seating on long-haul flights. Agents will be able to use Amadeus’ electronic miscellaneous document (EMD) for tracking and fulfillment of Seat Plus sales.
Using Amadeus' ancillary services, Air France can customize its offers to passengers based on their elite status. It can offer Seat Plus free of charge to passengers who identify themselves as Flying Blue Gold and Platinum members at the time of booking.
More movement on ancillaries
The announcement came close on the heels of Delta Air Lines’ deal with Travelport to distribute its Economy Comfort seats, a similar product, through all three Travelport GDS platforms. Two months ago, Travelport also began testing live bookings of KLM’s Economy Comfort seats.
Along with Alitalia, the three airlines operate a joint venture to operate what they say is the world’s largest transatlantic operation. The carriers also are partners in the SkyTeam alliance.
Aiming for consistency
Such alliances and joint ventures may be key to driving airlines’ willingness to make their ancillary products available through the GDS channel.
Allied carriers want to present a consistent experience throughout the travel chain, from booking to inflight services.
For example, say a passenger flies Delta from Atlanta to Amsterdam and connects to a KLM flight to Bali. If the flights are booked through a travel agency, the passenger might be confused or annoyed if Economy Comfort could be booked by the agency on one carrier but not the other.
Almost every significant carrier in the world – Virgin Atlantic is a notable exception – is a member of SkyTeam, the Star Alliance or Oneworld.
See related story: “Delta to Distribute Economy Comfort Seats Through Travelport GDSs,” June 7, 2012.