ATPCO automates coronavirus waivers for travel agents

ATPCO has developed an automated solution enabling airlines
to override existing fare rules and waive change fees in the GDSs.

The solution will go live in the Sabre, Amadeus and
Travelport GDSs for American Airlines tickets on June 7. Other airlines are
also expected to use the technology. 

As a result, travel agencies won’t have to manually process
the voluminous fee waivers and ticket validity extensions that airlines have implemented due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“It is incredibly time-consuming for each airline and agency
to manually process changes to tickets,” Eloise Rorke, ATPCO’s lead for product
development, wrote in a recent blog. “Each airline was trying to come up with their
own solution and nothing was working the same way across all channels. ATPCO
saw this happening and, as a service organization to the industry, started
looking for ways to help.”

In an email, American spokeswoman Rachel Warner said the
carrier helped champion development of the new solution alongside ATPCO and
other technology partners. She said that when it goes live, the solution will
restore a sense of normalcy for agencies. 

Following the launch, the GDSs will be able to automatically
price American’s free change fee for impacted tickets, meaning agencies won’t
have to manually review policies against each ticket. 

At present, American is allowing one free change for all
tickets purchased by May 31 for travel between March and September. Validity on
such tickets has also been extended through 2021, In addition, ticket validity
has been extended through 2021 for all unused ticket that were slated to expire
between this March and this September.

Airline-owned ATPCO uploads fare data into the GDSs. American,
Delta and United are part of the ownership group.

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