Farelogix unveiled Airline Commerce Gateway, an airline distribution technology platform that enables airlines to efficiently deliver content, including custom-tailored product offers, to travelers across multiple distribution outlets and customer touchpoints.
Powered by the Farelogix’s flagship distribution technology, the Gateway’s airline-controlled commerce environment combines five essential components: XML Host Connectivity (Direct Connect), an independent pricing engine (Virtual Fare Store), a highly versatile merchandising system (FMS2), a distribution rules engine (Distribution Manager), and an XML API (Gateway API). As an integrated solution, the Gateway serves as an airline’s delivery vehicle for customers shopping in both direct and indirect channels, including mobile devices and kiosks.
“The Airline Commerce Gateway is the logical next step in the evolution of airlines moving from commodity sellers to bona fide retailers,” said Jim Davidson, president and CEO of Farelogix. “As airlines embrace more sophisticated customer engagement by dynamically and instantaneously matching available content with each customer request or trip status, the need for a centralized airline commerce environment becomes obvious. The Gateway is an industry breakthrough as it’s the first solution to integrate and optimize industry leading distribution technology engines into a single, ‘out-of-the-box’ solution that can serve all airline sales outlets, including the fast growing mobile channel.”
By optimizing for mobile, the Farelogix Airline Commerce Gateway makes it possible for airlines to ensure uninterrupted and consistent customer engagement throughout the trip, whether a traveler is checking-in, upgrading a seat, purchasing inflight Wi-Fi, or taking advantage of any other flight or airport-related services. The Gateway is also the first technology platform to enable PNR (Passenger Name Record) self-service, including ticket changes and exchanges, ancillary purchases, and airline-generated passenger recovery options.
“The race is on for airlines to dynamically compete for customers with their best and most up-to-date content at every transaction or touchpoint opportunity,” said Davidson. “The Farelogix Airline Commerce Gateway enables airlines to implement strategies focused on improving the customer experience, revving up their loyal customers, generating new revenues, and introducing new products and services. It does so while significantly reducing airline costs by eliminating the need to maintain a multitude of proprietary, outdated distribution connections and hard-coded services.”
Farelogix Airline Commerce Gateway also accommodates any airline’s desire to adopt IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC). The Gateway follows the NDC workflow guidelines, allowing the airline to accept traveler-authenticated or anonymous search/offer requests directly from existing distribution providers, including the GDSs, OTAs and corporate booking tools, as well as the airline’s website, kiosk, call center and mobile direct distribution channels. The Gateway also provides fully backwards-compatible distribution workflow for any channel not yet capable of supporting the NDC workflows.
While the Farelogix Airline Commerce Gateway is designed as a complete “out-of-the-box” solution for airline distribution, it can also be implemented in a phased approach. “The implementation path for the Gateway is naturally individualized for each airline,” said Davidson. “Some airlines may prefer to start with a Direct Connect to close specific gaps for the indirect channel; others may put priority on getting a centralized merchandising engine in place, such as what we offer with FMS2; while others may be ready to go for the full cross-channel Gateway implementation. That’s the value of a modular commerce platform. It will grow with the airline’s strategy.”
The Farelogix Airline Commerce Gateway is designed to complement and in some cases fill gaps in existing airline systems, such as Reservations, Departure Control, and Loyalty, thus enabling the airline to quickly implement an intelligent retail environment without incurring lengthy or costly legacy system integrations or upgrades. “If an airline’s res system can’t handle EMDs or individualized seat offers and pricing, or their legacy fare structure doesn’t accommodate flash, branded, or bundled fares, the Gateway delivers this and much more,” Davidson said. “Airlines must find ways to bridge gaps and engage their customer today, because their competitors are not sitting around waiting.”