30-Oct-2013 10:36 AM

IATA: Shopping for air travel, airport experience and government regulation are priorities

IATA called (29-Oct-2013) on all partners and stakeholders involved in passenger travel to work together to deliver greater value to passengers at the World Passenger Symposium in Dublin. IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said airline passengers "expect more" than just safety and value for money and the industry needs to work with a common vision to "deliver even greater value to air travellers.” Mr Tyler focused on two areas where the industry can add greater value to the trip experience and called for greater government cooperation:

  • How customers shop for air travel: Mr Tyler noted a gap in the ease of booking value-added services via an airline website, as opposed to through the travel agents, which account for 60% of sales. Mr Tyler said gaps exist "because distribution via travel agents is built on pre-internet messaging standards" and travel agents "don’t have the same capabilities as XML, the language of internet-based commerce." Mr Tyler stated IATA is working with travel agent and travel technology partners to close the gap through the New Distribution Capability (NDC), which will develop a global standard, respond to passenger demand for customisation and personalisation and will "unleash innovation". He also highlighted that NDC will operate within the same privacy laws that govern every other business;
  • Passenger experience at airports and connection to travel suppliers: IATA's goal is a "smooth and hassle-free journey where passengers do not have to break stride from the curb to the gate unless they choose to". To deliver this, self-service, risk-based security processes and continuous connectivity are needed. Mr Tyler noted developments in the 'Fast Travel' programme as important elements in delivering this vision. IATA expects Fast Travel penetration will cover airports serving 45% of eligible passengers by the end of 2015. Security is also key component of the passenger experience in airports and a critical part of the 2020 vision. IATA is engaging with stakeholders in industry and government to improve airport security while delivering a "more valuable" passenger experience. IATA is also working with the Airports Council International to make WiFi connectivity more widely available at airports around the world, which will add value to the customer experience by giving the passenger the option to receive real-time flight information and updates, ability to re-book, receive push notifications, and access airline websites;
  • A value model for regulation: Mr Tyler also urged governments to work to create more value for passengers, stating that "writing new passenger rights regulations that impose prescriptive solutions on airlines without adding value to the travel experience is not the right way". [more - original PR]

IATA: “Our passengers are focused on value and their expectations are high and rising. That means we must continuously examine, modernize and evolve our offering. The goal is to ensure that what we see as ‘service’ actually means ‘value’ to our customers,” Tony Tyler, director general and CEO. Source: IATA, 29-Oct-2013.

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