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United Airlines NDC Makes it Easy to Escape Winter Weather

United Airlines NDC Makes it Easy to Escape Winter Weather

Did you see the weather waiver that United Airlines sent out this morning for the snowstorm hitting the Northeast on Saturday and Sunday?

United is waiving fare differences and change fees for travelers scheduled to fly to or connect in airports ranging from Philadelphia and Portland, Maine, including Newark/New York and Boston.* That makes it easier and cheaper for those travelers to adjust their travel plans, making it less likely that they get stranded if the storm delays or cancels flights.

And thanks to AmTrav’s direct connection to United’s NDC technology, travelers can rebook themselves with fare differences and change fees automatically waived.

Take traveler James booked with AmTrav to arrive into Newark from Indianapolis on Sunday at 2 PM in the afternoon. Say James wants to wait out the weather, fly in on Monday instead. Without the waiver, James would have to pay the $105 difference in fare to switch to a Monday flight. But in AmTrav, James can select a different flight, with lots of options priced at $0 – the correct price available thanks to United’s weather waiver and the built-in capabilities of United NDC.

United NDC Weather waiver applied2

(James could also switch to a different carrier in AmTrav’s Change Trips, like taking a Delta flight into LaGuardia.)

Now, airlines like United have made this capability available on their websites and apps for years, enabling travelers to change travel plans with weather waivers automatically applied.

But travelers who book through online booking tools (OBTs) and travel management companies (TMC) that use old technology aren’t so lucky. Those travelers have to call their TMC, probably wait on hold because a lot of other travelers have called to to change their plans too, then “hold please” while the TMC travel agents manually quote and apply that United weather waiver (the code is 7JCG9 so agents add the waiver code to the OSI field, for example “OSI UA 7JCG9”). What a pain!

Meanwhile AmTrav travelers have quickly changed their eligible United flights themselves online or with AmTrav’s 24x7, all-employee Travel Advisors – it’s easy!

This fast & easy automated servicing is just one benefit of NDC, along with lower fares (nearly 10% lower on American Airlines in 2023!), more seat and fare selection, access to United same-day changes, and more. And as AmTrav CEO Jeff likes to say: unlike the technology that NDC replaces, NDC has the potential to get even better.

And NDC on airlines like United, American and Southwest Airlines is just one benefit of AmTrav. AmTrav clients achieve 95% online adoption rates with all the options and capabilities that travelers need, from online guest and meeting booking to automated online trip changes, plus the savings, controls and data visibility that Administrators need.

Happy travels, and to my fellow Northeasterners – stay warm!

*American, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest also issued waivers for this storm.

Full disclosure: I worked on United Airlines NDC between 2017 and 2019, am really proud of the direction that my colleagues and I took and the NDC product that United has built. It’s very cool to see the benefits that we dreamed up in 2017 at United come to life for customers at AmTrav and many other places.

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