1 min read

Whose Problem Is It?

Whose Problem Is It?

On AmTrav's NDC webinar last week Jeff and Cory shared some insight about how competing TMCs are trying to implement NDC, the technology that gets AmTrav customers lower fares, better servicing and richer content:

Jeff at 16:12: “And I think a lot of our competitors are kind of waiting for ‘I can plug into this and I'll suddenly have everything' but it's just not working that way. [...] The TMCs are saying: ‘give me NDC in a way that I don't have to change anything, I don't have to do any heavy lifting, I don't have to do any hard work,’ and that's not the way the world works.”

And Cory at 15:27: “So, here's my answer to that question. If any one TMC [like AmTrav] can be at 100% with respect to any one airline’s NDC connection, every TMC could be at 100%. And so the question becomes if your TMC is not 100% with that airline, why not? And the answer to why not isn't on the airline side. The answer to why not is in the intermediate steps in between the airline’s connection and the TMC systems. So there's something broken on the TMC side if they are not at 100% as compared to Amtrav, which is because they control all of their own tech stack.”

Wait, is that really true? Are competing TMCs really waiting for someone else to solve this for them?

Yes. 

Here’s a TMC saying exactly that in Business Travel News:

“For these reasons, I not only find it important, but borderline imperative, for the GDS technology gurus and their partners to become the Max Park of NDC.”

Translating this to get past the Max Park analogy:* “It’s really important that someone else to solve this for me.”

By the way this op-ed was published in July, right before American removed even more of their fares from the GDS that this TMC relies on. To the best of my knowledge, more than six months later, competing TMCs are still waiting for Max Park.

 

*Max Park is the hero of this BTN op-ed because Max Park holds the record for the fastest time to solve a rubix cube, which is somehow analogous to implementing NDC technology that allows travel platforms to deliver the lowest fares. Analogies are of course dangerous because the reader might ask "if anyone can learn to solve a rubix cube in 30 seconds then why can't this TMC figure out NDC?" Or: "Wait, my seven year old son can work the smart TV, why can't this technology executive?"

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