Airlines pay GDSs every month for distributing their seat inventory to the travel agencies. Besides the segment costs incurred on every passenger segment booked, the cost of unproductive segments on request and waitlist status, the high number of passive segments is very prohibitive.
Cost of distribution has been increasing steadily. Due incorrect booking process, the repeated bookings and cancellations, agency personnel not attending to the GDS queue codes of their office locations, or travel consultants and counter staff creating unnecessary segments, a huge sum is paid out by airlines.
Based on the segment invoice tapes received by airlines from GDSs, and run through special software, multiple payments made for the same passenger is flagged for ADM generation and loaded into the respective BSPs by BIDT process.
Agents hold more than one GDS and making multiple bookings or follow-ups through both GDSs. These are also flagged for ADM action.
Every single unproductive booking increases likelihood of seat wastage of an airline. Agents must factor the high losses to the principal as a consequence. It is only fair for agents to co-operate fully in preventing losses caused by them due oversight, negligence or willful action of their staff.
Towards improved compliance of reservations practices and reduction in costs to Airlines for wasted seat inventory, and reducing ADMs to Agencies, if not entirely eliminating them, we recommend the following steps for enforcement at all your locations.
Recommended Do’s and Don’ts for Travel Consultants
1. Clear all your queues every hour. Action HX/UN/NO/UC/US/SC/TK/WK/HL from your queues.
Special Service Request, Other Service Information, Change in segment status queue notification including Rejection of Sale, Holding Need, Waitllist, Not operating, Schedule Change amongst others.
2. Cancel doubtful/speculative bookings blocking airline inventory at least 30hours prior flight scheduled departure time.
GDSs only credit cancelled segment cost for agent action outside a 24 hour window. Waitlisted segments and segment with following status codes like HX/UC/NO/HL/US/UN/SC/TK/WK etc. which stay unactioned upto this time are billed to airline by the GDS.
This billing/invoicing information is put on BIDT tapes by GDS and supplied to airline for automated processing and analysis, which in turn generates ADMs loaded directly onto BSP. Airline does not create data for ADM generation except what the GDS billing/invoicing tapes produce of the already paid segments.
The wastage due unutilised seats and noshows at airport is extremely prohibitive for airline operations.
3. Do not create waitlist segments. It is best to sell the available fare and ticket promptly for retaining customer loyalty.
4. Put stricter in-house time-limits on all your bookings, regardless if confirmed or waitlisted. Action your own stricter time-limits promptly.
Airline pays GDS as much for waitlist segments as confirmed.
Airlines also pay for every cancelled segment, whether confirmed or waitlisted.
5. Do not create duplicate booking/segment for the same passengers.
Staff must ask passenger if he already holds bookings through other travel agents, before effecting another duplicate booking and blocking airline inventory.
ADMs at present partly cover the actual GDS segment booking fee per passenger segment booked. Of far more concern to the airline is the wasted seat, which is extremely prohibitive.
6. Do not create passives except for ticketing of groups created by airline and control given to you for ticketing. Cancel passives segments after ticketing. The cost of a Passive segment is as much as a confirmed segment.
7. Do not repeatedly cancel and rebook seats in order to overcome ticketing time-limits, as this is detected as Churns in BIDT processing. ADMs are raised automatically and filed with respective BSPs for recovery.
8. Do not manually underprice tickets, or reduce taxes, fees, other charges, and/or bypass minimum purchase or stay requirements. Fare Audit and Revenue Integrity processes will detect these, and ADM will be raised by Air India.
9. Ensure passenger contact is in PNR for assisting airline to service them on your behalf of any changes in flight status or timings. Send it as an OSI as advised by your GDS in their training documents.
10. Please obtain and advise a personal contact of near one of the passenger for emergency notification (ICE – In case of Emergency).
Be proactive and send the passenger direct contact data and an alternate emergency thru OSI immediately. GDSs are requesting for an SSR PCTC for adoption by IATA in the future.
11. Keep your passengers advised of the latest status of their booking at all times. With passenger contact in the PNR this process is often automated by airline systems or handled by their call-centre thus reducing burden on the agent for servicing.
12. Do not change information and fares in the itinerary receipt (ITR) issued to passengers, as same amounts to an economic offence and criminal action.
Air India seeks travel trade whole-hearted co-operation to bring relief to the travel agent towards elimination of airline ADMs due unacceptable booking practices.
Booking, both confirmed and waitlisted seats for the same passenger for the same or different sectors in different classes in the same PNR, and/or in same or different classes in other PNRs, thus risking spoilage of airline inventory
Repeated cancellation and rebooking of seats in the same or in different classes, and in same or on different flights, in the same PNR, often in an attempt to overcome the ticketing timelimits
Holding AI inventory wrongfully, and/or illegitimately through confirmed or additional waitlists awaiting ticketing opportunity.
It may be motivated to meeting GDS minimum productivity, or mere unprofessional activity. This leads to a risk to AI inventory, reduced seat availability, and/or increase in GDS billing to airline
Using one GDS for creation of booking, and ticketing through another. This inflates GDS billing to AI, when both these activities must always be in the same GDS
Creation of bookings in one GDS and ticketing through another GDS using Passive status code. This is an abuse of the reservations process caused either due careless attitude, or satisfy GDS productivity requirement, or circumvent fare rule, or fulfill administrative purposes
Issuance or use of coupons from two or more tickets issued at roundtrip(RT) fares end-to-end on the same ticket, to circumvent applicable tariff rules such as advance purchase and minimum stay requirement
Bookings made for FFP redemption and other restricted PNRs wrongfully
Off-shore/Cross Border ticketing
To directly or indirectly circumvent airline based commission rate or incentive structure, by use of one or more mechanism like establishment or use of an international branch office, satellite ticket printer, or electronic transfer of ticketing data, or through a commission sharing or referral arrangement with a travel agency in another country, or otherwise
Journal Control (Booking O&D)
Where one segment/itinerary links to another for a complete Origin-Destination solution, and any attempted violation to break this sanctity. This will be dealt as abuse of GDS booking policy, abuse to inventory, and violation of ticketing policy of AI, its codeshare and interline partner airlines
Test or Training PNR
Training mode or non-billable segment status code must be used, not active sell segment status codes
Valid Name requirement
Booking must have a valid last and first name as matching the travel and ID documentation.
Initials in lieu of first and last name are not permitted.
Invalid or misspelt names are not permitted
Air India Limited
27th Sep, 2011