Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline and Germany’s flag carrier, and Amadeus, a leading technology partner for the global travel industry, have announced a new agreement that will see the airline sell advance seat reservation as an ancillary product in the travel agency channel using Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services. The agreement, which also applies to Lufthansa’s subsidiary Austrian Airlines, Austria’s flag carrier, means that travel agents using Amadeus in 63 markets worldwide will be able to book advance seat reservations in Economy Class for travellers flying on domestic and European routes. Additionally, passengers will be able to purchase seats offering extra leg room both on continental and intercontinental routes.
Travel agents using Amadeus will be able to reserve the traveller’s preferred seat in advance for a small additional fee, which will vary depending on whether they select a standard seat or an exit row seat with its additional legroom. Passengers without an advance seat reservation are able to choose their seat free of charge only at check-in.
Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines will also adopt Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services, a comprehensive, multi-channel solution that is compliant with industry standards, to distribute ancillary services through their website in the first half of 2014. By launching the advance seat reservation product worldwide in the travel agency channel, the two flag carriers will be embracing a multi-channel approach to merchandising with Amadeus. Both airlines use Electronic Miscellaneous Documents, the IATA standard solution for fulfilling bookings for ancillary services.
Travel agents will be able to make the seat reservations easily and efficiently through Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services, as the solution seamlessly integrates the process into agents’ normal workflow. Merchandising ancillaries using Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services is designed to help increase both the number of bookings the airline receives through the travel agency channel, and the revenue generated per passenger.
Günter Friedrich, VP IT Development Commercial, Lufthansa, said: “We know that comfort is important to travellers, and this new product will offer our customers greater flexibility and choice to personalise their journey so that they can rest assured they’ll be in their favourite seat whenever they fly with us. Our partnership with Amadeus means that we will be able to provide our customers with a consistent experience and level of choice, however they shop for and book their flight. We are able to provide them with the services and products that will enhance their journey.”
Decius Valmorbida, VP of Distribution Marketing at Amadeus, said: “Merchandising products and services is a priority for airlines in order to differentiate their offer, meet the personalisation needs of their customers and optimise their revenues. By offering this new product using Amadeus, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines join 76 other airlines who recognize how Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services can help them shift comparison of airline fares from price to service. This helps carriers compete more effectively.”
To date, 78 airlines have signed-up to the Amadeus Airline Ancillary Services solution, of which 22 are currently distributing their ancillary services through travel agents in 63 markets.