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Technology firm Sabre Travel Network is to launch an air ticket exchange system after a successful trial in the UK.
The company said the Automated Exchanges system - part of the Sabre Red portfolio - will enable travel agents to save both their businesses and clients time and money when exchanging or reissuing an airline ticket.
Agencies involved in the beta testing over the last six months were claimed to have said the system had saved them up to 20 minutes per each ticket.
Historically, agents have had to go through a long-involved manual process when reissuing tickets.
Martin Cowley, Sabre's senior vice president for Europe the Middle East and Africa, said: "Automated Exchanges is our newest feature of Sabre Red. It significantly reduces time and training required for new agents, enhances efficiency and productivity by simplifying the exchange, and enables agencies to spend more time providing value to their customers rather than working on a process."
Sabre said the product enhanced the automation provided by its Refunds and Exchanges solution and said agents could use Automate Exchanges to automatically return new ticket prices, with fees and taxes calculated for the new journey.
The solution is designed to ensure the best low-fare option is selected, as the agent is notified when it is cheaper to book a new flight, rather than reissue the original ticket and incur an airline booking change fee.
Sabre said Automated Exchanges also integrated with its low-fare shopping tool which will search for alternative flight options for travellers prepared to consider other flight times to obtain a cheaper ticket price.
"Our participation in the beta program has shown great results and we are especially pleased with the significant time savings we've seen," said John Owen, managing director of TD Travel Group, a UK travel agency.
Automated Exchanges is available in the UK and Ireland, and will be rolled out to Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland, Israel, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar in the coming year.