widespread adoption of Web-based computing throughout
global commerce, including the travel industry, has made a
single, interoperable process much more tenable.
Is there a connection between One Order and NDC?
Absolutely. NDC brought the assembly and sale of the airline offer into the XML world. One Order aims to do the
same for ful;lling the resulting order. “One Order is the
natural second phase of transformation,” said Touraine.
Why do airline supporters want it?
Not all airlines are converts to the One Order concept. But
those airline execs who are converted see major commercial,
servicing and ef;ciency opportunities. “When I expressed
some of my skepticism to someone from a major European
airline, I received a rather toasty, 15-minute lecture that
not only was this going to happen, but it had to happen,”
Airlines Reporting Corp. CEO Mike Premo said during the
ARC TravelConnect conference in October. “Airlines want
to become a much more normalized part of the digital com-
merce world. One Order’s purpose is to enable that, to be
a repository for all services and purposes just like an order
on Amazon: not just the ;ight, the seat, the special services
but the hotel, the car, the insurance, the sunglasses, the
suntan lotion, the massage and the souvenir photograph. I
don’t expect this to be easy, but the motivation seems clear:
Generate new revenue, increase [revenue per available seat
mile], leverage our knowledge about customer travel book-
ings, create a better customer experience.”
On the service side, “we need to move from an order-
centric to a customer-centric world,” said Glenn Morgan,
head of digital transformation for International Airlines
Group, parent of British Airways and Iberia. “Today, air-
lines identify you as a six-digit PNR,” but airlines, GDSs
and TMCs struggle to synchronize the information entered
into PNRs, e-tickets and EMDs. Through One Order, all
parties can recognize the individual customer.
One Order generates only one reference number, not
separate ones for each airline and GDS involved in the
itinerary. Different records are “very confusing from a customer services point of view,” said Touraine. If a journey is
disrupted, the need to update several records can lead to
errors and lack of coordination, making the task of contacting the traveler much harder. One Order should mean
swifter, more coherent intervention.
In theory, airlines also should interact better with
ground handlers and indeed their own staff. “Airlines
have real problems with continuity of product deliv-
ery,” said Paul Tilstone, managing partner of Festive
Road, a consultancy contracted by IATA to engage with
the corporate buyer community. “For example, priority
boarding works well for frequent-;yer gold card hold-
ers in some airports but not in others. Or if you have
ordered seat 12F because it’s an emergency exit row but
the aircraft is switched, you aren’t necessarily moved to
seat 14F, which is the emergency exit row on the replace-
ment. These things happen because we have antiquated
systems for delivering what’s ordered.”
One Order also cuts airline costs by eliminating the
considerable effort airline revenue accounting depart-
ments expend on reconciling PNRs and tickets.
On the Horizon
What Comes After NDC?
www.businesstravelnews.com February 12, 2018 | Business Travel News | 3
CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE One Order could streamline TMC recordkeeping
and data and move both agencies and airlines to a
standard e-commerce retail environment, but why
would travel buyers want it?
One major advantage could be hugely improved management information. “Buyers can make sure airlines
have stuck to what was contracted, especially for anything that was upsold,” said Daniel Friedli, joint managing director and owner of airline distribution consultancy Travel in Motion, which helps IATA engage with
carriers. “Corporates will also be able to see how much
of the deal they are utilizing. There will be a lot more
insight into delivery against contract for both parties.”
Another example of improved data insight for both
client and airline would be proration: the splitting of the
ticket revenue on itineraries involving more than one carrier. “Today, it happens after the event,” said IAG’s Morgan. “In future, it can be done at the offer stage and recorded with the order. We move to real-time accounting.”
How clients pay also could change. “Corporates
could pay by invoice like for anything else in the supply chain,” said Morgan. “It opens payment up to any
agreed method as settlement between airline and corporate client. You could have a corporate accounting code
on standard accounts receivable.”
Just how radically could One Order shake up
airlines and travel service providers?
The greatest upheavals may stem from travel technology ;nally becoming interoperable with what the rest of
the commercial world uses. “[Today], your transaction
is a PNR,” Premo said. “Your receipt is an e-ticket or,
maybe if you implement them, an EMD. Maui Jim and
Warby Parker and Amazon or Walmart or Target don’t
have any idea how to interact with those type of documents. And they certainly don’t know or want anything
to do with a debit memo.” The two major passenger
services system providers, Amadeus and Sabre, could
face competition from “new players from the e-commerce world that have never heard of PNRs,” according to Friedli. Digital commerce software provider SAP
Hybris is a “supporting organization” for One Order
and is engaged in a pilot with an unnamed airline.
Could other stakeholders face new competition, too?
Airlines could effectively become online travel agents,
selling and ful;lling packages for the entire trip, not
just the ;ight element. And, arguably, One Order could
lower barriers to competition with TMCs and GDSs,
too. Another intriguing development could be that
commercial relationships between full-service airlines
and low-cost carriers will blossom. One Order makes
full-service airlines ticketless, which is how many low-cost carriers already operate, and therefore interlining
between the two models becomes more feasible. Could
formal airline alliances be undermined by a return to
more ad hoc trip-by-trip carrier combinations? Conversely, might low-cost carriers join those alliances?
What is the time line?
Amadeus and BA successfully issued the ;rst test One
Order document in summer 2017 for a charter ;ight.
Other pilots of the beta version of One Order are underway, including two by IAG. IATA’s ;rst of;cial release
of the standard is scheduled for 2018. There will be no
big bang. Morgan expects airlines to introduce One Order gradually “over the next three to four years.” Like
NDC, One Order is an optional standard.