It’s hard to believe another Halloween has come and gone. It’s a time of year that the team looks forward to, with just about everyone showing up to work in their most creative costumes. But come November, it’s time to stop telling the same old ghost stories, and put the costumes, scary movies, and decorations away. I also give up on my attempt to lose the 10 pounds I put on chomping away at Halloween candy “for the kids”.
However, Halloween 2016 has had me thinking a lot about NDC. Since its inception just a few years ago, NDC has become a popular target for myths, scary stories, and some good old-fashioned fear mongering. “NDC is impossible!” “NDC will never work!” “NDC will end the world of travel agency distribution!” “NDC. Boo!”
I’ve even seen blog posts and articles where pro-NDC comments I have made have been twisted, morphed, and transformed into pessimistic anti-NDC rants and untruths. How crazy is that?
The time to be fearful of or worried about NDC is long gone, for a couple of reasons. First, there’s nothing to fear about a new technology standard that enables airlines to be the “single source of truth” for all their sales channels (for the first time in our industry, I might add!), thanks to a robust XML API technology that is in favor with more than twenty airlines that I know and plenty more in the queue. Second, and most importantly, NDC is – in production with live orders – already happening. It is in production with many of the world’s leading airlines and lots more have plans to follow. In other words, the NDC train has left the station, and it is now time for us, as an industry, to be full-on in execution mode. Perhaps it’s this last point that explains the recent flurry of NDC phobias and falsehoods; after all, don’t they say people tend to get nervous when planning is over and it is time for action? Well, we promise there is no monster under the bed, so let’s stop with the scary stories and instead focus on taking action.
And yes, there is plenty of action to take: Airlines are beginning to take control of technology that enables them to create and deliver their offers; GDSs need to up their game when it comes to integrating an airline’s NDC API and displaying and transacting on all this wonderful new content; corporate booking tools need to stop worrying about what the GDSs think and retool their booking apps to connect to, and display, all this wonderful new content being negotiated between airline and corporation; and the PSSs need to let their airline customers stop using their community-based applications and help their airline customers integrate the best-of-breed offer creation tools. Yep, plenty to do, but nothing too scary. (Well, unless you really just enjoy telling ghost stories…)
If you’re ready to put the scary talk behind you and look ahead at NDC-aligned technology that can help you put your airline in control of its offers, we lay out all the details here. You can also ask us any question you may have to allay your fears!