Airlines push for extended booking systems, IT firms reluctant

Improved booking systems could keep fliers happy, but IT companies may lose lucrative contracts.

A new project in the airline industry aims to give customers more information when they book, but IT firms that offer outdated systems face losing valuable revenue streams.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has proposed stripping out old, dated systems built on computer languages from 40 years ago and replacing them with a new online reservation platform, the New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard. Meeting in Cape Town this week, airlines approved the new system, which raised the hackles of tech companies who cash out on older global distribution systems.

NDC allows consumers to compare different packages, meal prices, the sizes of seats and bundled offers. These deals are available on individual carrier websites, but are often missed by travel agents who are reliant on old systems and outdated software.

As airlines move to implement the new system within the next two years, customers will have more scope to compare and contrast deals, but travel agencies and the companies which provide older software are likely to lose out.

Almost 60 percent of global ticket sales are currently made through travel agents, online agencies and travel management companies rather than through individual flight websites.

Read More: Reuters

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com