American Airlines and Amadeus announced today that they will complete full end-to-end workflow integration of New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology for points of sale in North America by early 2022. Earlier this year, American was the first U.S. airline to complete a NDC integration with a Global Distribution System (GDS) by partnering with Amadeus for European points of sale. More travel advisors and corporations will soon have access through the Amadeus Travel Platform to American’s flights, ancillaries, and current and future elevated offers such as Main Plus, Corporate Experience, and Main Select, available only through NDC or aa.com.
“We’re proud to be the first major U.S. airline to integrate with a GDS and look forward to completing full integration with Amadeus for the North American market early next year,” said Neil Geurin, Managing Director of Digital and Distribution for American Airlines. “This market launch will be a significant milestone for our industry and creates opportunities for more personalized offers and a more intuitive booking experience. We enjoy a longstanding partnership with Amadeus and will continue to work with their travel seller network to modernize the booking experience for years to come.”
Streamlined Booking and Servicing
Travel advisors and corporations using the Amadeus Travel Platform for points of sale in North America will soon enjoy a more seamless shopping, booking, ticketing and travel management experience. In addition, they will have access to the airline’s Main Plus offer, which includes complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra and preferred seats, preferred boarding and a free checked bag in addition to the Main Cabin baggage allowance. Main Plus is available only through aa.com and booking channels equipped with NDC.
The integration also provides more post-ticket servicing capabilities with the ability to make voluntary changes and book ancillaries such as seat assignments, including Main Cabin Extra.
“We’re pleased to be the first travel technology provider to fully integrate NDC with American Airlines, and look forward to bringing American’s elevated content offerings to our travel partners and directly to corporate travelers who book through Cytric,” said Javier Laforgue, Executive Vice President, Air Distribution for Amadeus. “Our teams have worked hard to bring the travel community an enhanced retailing experience, and we’ll continue to build on our partnership to innovate in distribution.”
Corporate Travelers Benefit from NDC Content
In addition to Main Plus and enhanced servicing capabilities, the integration provides corporate travel buyers access to the airline’s Corporate Experience offer. It was launched earlier this year and can be purchased on behalf of companies that are members of the airline’s Business Extra reward program. Corporate Experience provides access to a preferred seat, priority check-in, priority security, and priority boarding.
In the future, buyers will have access to elevated offers like Main Select, which will provide refundable fares, priority boarding, priority check-in, choice of all seats in Main Cabin at time of booking including Main Cabin Extra, and free same-day flight changes.
Thousands of travel advisors around the globe already enjoy access to American’s NDC content through Amadeus. In 2019, American became the first airline to complete end-to-end integration, including ancillaries, through NDC in the Amadeus Travel Platform.
Earlier this year, the companies announced a commitment to further enhance travel retailing together and provide the travel community with a seamless booking and ticketing experience as the NDC integration expands to additional points of sale.