Marty Knupp, vice president of Sales at Premier Travel Management revealed this insight when we sat down with him and Amos Khim, managing director of Distribution at United Airlines to discuss ancillary distribution and the changing customer landscape.
During our interview, it became clear that the need for travelers to customize their travel experience to add more comfort and convenience is echoed in both the travel agency and airline community. This customization includes the addition of ancillary services, such as seats, which can be offered to travelers, and visibility of ancillaries in the shopping experience gives increased knowledge of the travel offer.
A true partnership
In mid-2014, United Airlines partnered with Amadeus to bring its Economy Plus seats to our travel agencies, using the new NDC XML standards. When speaking about the implementation and how it was to work with Amadeus, Amos explained, “having a partner such as Amadeus which was so thorough and well-planned in doing this implementation was a great comfort to us.”
As a pilot customer for the implementation of United’s Economy Plus seats, Premier’s travel agents worked closely with Amadeus to test the product. Marty agreed with Amos’ view of working with Amadeus. “We were involved in the pilot program for seats with United. It was fantastic. Amadeus asked our opinion and they listened; that was the best part. The agents were able to give their input about how to make it better, how to make it faster, how to make it easier for them.”
Amadeus currently offers seamless access to ancillary services for 28 airlines in North America. The integration of ancillary services into the standard booking flow ensures that agents can save time, improve productivity, and provide better customer service to their travelers.
Watch the video to hear more about the benefits of ancillary service distribution.
Be sure to check back here and on our Amadeus North America YouTube channel for part 2 of the interview, where Amos and Marty further discuss our partnership on ancillary distribution and how we will shape the future of travel.
About Premier Travel Management and United Airlines
Who is Premier Travel Management? Marty explains, “Premier Travel has been in business for about 30 years now. What makes us stick out from the competition is we focus on small to mid-size accounts where we feel they are severely underserved in the corporate market. We have all the toys of a big travel management company and we bring them to the smaller customer.”
Who is United Airlines? Amos describes, “United Airlines is a global airline; we think we’re unique in that we offer a global network that reaches many different parts all around the world with many unique products for all type of customers, from business travelers with our Global First and Business First products, to our Economy Plus for our leisure customers.”