Travelport, a leading travel commerce platform, announced today that it is actively working with multiple airlines and partners to offer Next Generation Storefront (NGS) capability. Industry partners working with Travelport to pioneer NGS development are WhereTo, an online booking tool, and Travel Technology & Solutions (TTS), a global leading player in the development of innovative solutions for the travel and tourism industry.
NGS is an industry initiative to enable travel agencies to display airfares just like airlines show their branded fares on their own websites. Developed by industry body ATPCO, it aims to deliver a richer and more informed shopping experience for travelers. The “storefront” allows users to compare and choose between multiple branded fare offers and across different airlines’ flights – all on one screen.
Travelport pioneered such innovation when it launched Rich Content and Branding in 2014. More than 270 airlines now benefit from this solution which provides travel agencies the brand and ancillary data they need to help travelers make informed decisions other than just the price. Travelport is in a leading position to provide travel agencies with information on ancillary products and other available options to deliver NGS.
Complementing this, and powered by Travelport’s latest API, Trip Services, NGS will present airlines’ offerings by fare families and their ancillaries for easy comparison shopping. This will allow all Travelport’s partner travel agencies to display more flight options and information for travelers, so they can choose the offering that works best for their customers.
As the ATPCO standards continue to evolve, Travelport will facilitate exact comparisons across airlines’ full range of products, whether for online agencies, corporate booking tools or Travelport’s own travel agency desktop solution, Smartpoint.
The new displays will show different branded categories such as Basic Economy, Standard Economy and Economy Plus in a single display alongside one another, enabling users to select their preferred branded offer for each leg of their journey.
For example, travelers can book a business class ticket to their destination and an economy class seat for their return, with airport lounge access during a long layover. NGS will provide more flexibility, transparency and clarity to the user and let customers compare fare prices across different airlines and choose their preferred way of traveling. With the ability to provide more options to travelers, including ancillaries like upgrades, baggage and wi-fi access, agencies can more easily support airlines’ retail sales while providing a better shopping experience for travelers.
Jeff Lobl, Managing Director Global Distribution Strategy at Delta Air Lines said, “GDSs have a critical role to play in the retail transformation of our industry, and Next Generation Storefront is central to that effort. We applaud Travelport’s commitment to elevating the shopping experience for our customers.”
Stephen Shurrock, Travelport’s Chief Commercial Officer, commented, “Whether through Rich Content and Branding, NDC or NGS, Travelport is committed to providing the broadest range of content and will continue to lead change. NGS will be key in driving a shift from ‘cheapest fare’ to ‘best value’. Displaying multiple options enhances consumer choice and gives airlines upsell opportunities, whilst providing measurable value to all partners. So, we welcome the innovation NGS offers to the industry and are delighted to work with like-minded partners.”
Ryan Wenger, founder and president of WhereTo said, “We have worked with Travelport for many years now, so partnering with them for NGS just seemed like the right move. We are committed to enhancing the traveler’s experience and as we evolve our shopping displays to NGS standards, provide the transparency that will enable them to choose the fare and ancillaries that suit them best.”
Another long-term partner of Travelport, Travel Technology & Solutions (TTS), Chief Commercial Officer Rui Figueiredo said “We are pleased to be amongst the first travel technology providers in Europe to be able to offer the next generation of airline merchandising to our customers. Next Generation Storefront will allow us to offer structured fare brands concisely in the shop window, providing shopping transparency to our customers.”