September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
Amadeus is to begin trialling a new rail booking solution called Rail Plus with selected UK agencies later this month, with a full market release to follow in late August or early September.
It will allow travel agents to research and book train journeys for the first time through a specially designed ”user-friendly” GDS interface.
”The UK will be the very first market where we establish Rail Plus,” Amadeus UK and Ireland managing director Stephane Durand told ABTN. ”Distribution of rail is one of the largest internal projects at Amadeus as we speak, and the long term vision is to deploy a system similar to what we have for the airlines.
”What”s important is our commitment and strategy to develop a next generation system, fully integrated into the GDS and self-booking tool.”
Rail Plus will ”seamlessly integrate” with other itinerary components such air, car and hotel, says the company, while offering the ability to transfer booking data to an agency”s back-office for accounting purposes.
Durand also said Amadeus will move into phase two of its initiative to distribute easyJet flights via its system in mid-June.
”We are now coming to the next phase of functionality which will offer a better experience and greater flexibility than easyJet”s website ” for example, having special requests such as speedy boarding, which is extremely common for business travel, flexibility around flight and itinerary changes - such as changing a time or name - and this will be intuitive and easy to implement.”
The budget carrier”s debut on the GDS triggered a storm of protest from TMCs at a ”5 booking fee, and Durand said: ”We are well aware of the commercial issues between TMCs and easyJet, and take up has been very strong for some and very marginal for others purely down to the surcharge imposed by the airline.
”Our view is that there is an education process to happen here ” we have a very successful airline solely selling from its website, that is only just starting to open up to the trade and TMCs. We believe time will allow them to better understand each other and maximise the relationship.”
He added that Amadeus” GDS interface is an excellent facilitator which helps maximise the value of that relationship between agencies and the airline.
Monarch Airlines is in line for this same second phase solution later this year, and other budget carriers have ”shown interest” in the Amadeus dedicated low-cost carrier distribution solution.