Travelport is set to roll out Rich Content and Branding, the third component of its Travelport Merchandising Platform.
The solution will enable Travelport subscribers to view color photographs and detailed descriptions of airlines’ differentiated products, such as Air New Zealand’s Skycouch, by clicking a symbol on flight search results.
The blue symbol is an indication that rich content is available, both for viewing and booking.
The Travelport solution is designed to allow airlines to control the presentation of their differentiated products and services. It is being tested with Air New Zealand and Delta Air Lines.
Steven Ratcliffe, Travelport product director, merchandising, said beta testing will begin just before Christmas with a full launch planned for March.
By then Travelport hopes to have eight carriers on board, with one or two in each region of the world. Currently, Travelport is in talks with 15 airlines, Ratcliffe said.
Travel agencies will be able to access Rich Content and Branding via the Travelport Smartpoint App, the Universal Desktop or the Universal API.
Ratcliffe said Travelport’s goal is to have 75% of its agency customers by the end of the year using Smartpoint, which enables agents to take advantage of new technologies while retaining the ability to use cryptic commands.
“They’ll get the same experience as they would on an airline’s website,” he said. “They won’t have to run to Google to get a description of the product.”
When agents click on the blue symbol, they are linked to a product page.
On Air New Zealand’s page, for example, ancillary products are listed on the right, along with prices. By clicking on a listing, agents can get a fuller description of the product and view a color photograph of it.
Rich in photos
Photos might include a couple napping on the Skycouch, an upgraded Premium Economy seat or a flat bed in Business Premier.
Air New Zealand introduced Skycouch more than two years ago.
Skycouch allows passengers to purchase a row of three seats in the economy cabin and turn them into a bed or play area on long-haul flights. But because it doesn’t fit into the normal seat sales process, it has been available only on the carrier’s website.
The other components of the Travelport Merchandising Platform are Aggregated Shopping, which consolidates shopping results from traditional carriers that connect through ATPCO with those that connect via an API on the same screen, and Travelport Ancillary Services, which allows agents to sell optional services within their normal workflow.
Tigerair, a Singaporean low-cost carrier, will be the first Asian carrier to participate in Aggregated Shopping.