British Airways has teamed up with Skyscanner for trials that will see BA become the first global airline to offer tickets using IATA’s New Distribution Capability standard, which offers customers a more informative and flexible choice when booking airline tickets. Skyscanner is the first travel meta-search engine with the capacity to display and sell the tickets directly.
The solution will enable customers to browse elements including cabin details, baggage allowance and upgrade options. Initially, it will be available to customers using smartphones in the UK and through all devices in France, Germany and Switzerland.
Sara Dunham, BA’s Head of Marketing, Retail and Direct, said: “This partnership with Skyscanner will improve the experience for customers booking flights through travel search engines and they will be able to view more information about their flight from cabin choice to aircraft type.
“We all know consumers are more sophisticated and demand a more seamless experience, and this initiative lets us deliver that while still maintaining a direct relationship between the customer and British Airways. We look forward to seeing how this trial progresses.”
Initially, the move will only apply to British Airways ticket sales via Skyscanner’s facilitated booking engine, but in the future the airline is aiming to offer customers the ability to buy the full range of ancillary options, such as allocated seating and additional baggage through the travel search site.
Skyscanner’s decision to choose NDC positions it as a global distribution point for advanced ticket and ancillary bookings. The travel search engine can now easily publish and process any NDC-ready provider’s tickets.