United Airlines’ New Distribution Capability (NDC) content will go live on Travelport sometime this month.
The content will be rolled out first for travel agencies in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Deployment for the rest of the world will follow.
Travelport is the last of the three primary GDSs to offer NDC-enabled United fares and ancillary products. United’s NDC fares are already available in Amadeus and Sabre.
The Travelport-United announcement comes one week after United said that it would pull domestic and short-haul basic economy fares from legacy GDS channels, effective Sept. 5. It also coincides with Travelport’s announcement of a renewed multiyear distribution agreement with United.
Travelport said that a simplified United NDC trial program has been ongoing for select agencies on Travelport for several months and has been successful.
“Our NDC solution is designed to support travel retailers with complete end-to-end servicing that goes beyond the booking process, allowing agents to easily manage trip changes on the go while offering superior levels of service to their travelers,” said Jason Clarke, Travelport’s chief commercial officer for travel partners.
Other NDC deployments, including American’s, have drawn criticism and frustration from travel advisors, who have struggled to service and support NDC-enabled bookings.
In an interview last month, Glenn Hollister, United’s vice president of sales and effectiveness, said that United has implemented its NDC differently than most other airlines.
“One of the key differences is that every ticket is issued on United ticket stock,” he said. “Most of the airlines implemented NDC where their ticket is issued on neutral ticket stock. Because it’s our ticket stock, it’s in our system. It is accessible for servicing both direct and in NDC channels, and we have built servicing functionality that is overall quite a bit more complete than Edifact.”
Edifact is the technology that powers the legacy GDSs.
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