The French National Railway, SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français), its subsidiary Rail Europe and Amadeus (a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry) have partnered to improve and ease the distribution of SNCF rail content to travel agencies and to meet the high expectations of the international traveller.
As part of a long-standing cooperation between the two companies, Amadeus is providing European travel agents - from Benelux to Spain, through Germany and Italy- with a new solution that allows easy access to the whole SNCF product range, fares and functionalities. From their usual Amadeus Selling Platform desktop, travel agents can now book French rail tickets with the booking merged back to the Amadeus Passenger Name Record. In addition, Amadeus Web Services - a standard way of integrating web based applications - will soon enable travel agents to build a booking interface on their online portal that includes rail in multi-modal displays or in packages.
This latest improvement in SNCF rail content distribution follows the recent successful deployment of E-ticketing technology, which is available on most French domestic routes and soon to international trains. With E-Ticketing, travellers can receive a PDF file with a 2D bar code via e-mail. This can be printed at home or at the office as with air or car travel. Travellers benefit from an improved experience with hassle-free boarding, by just showing the E-ticket to the on-board controller, exchange and refund over the phone or the Internet, and a smooth rail journey downtown to downtown.
To benefit from the best SNCF content, Amadeus Travel Agencies just have to get a SNCF accreditation via the local Rail Europe subsidiary.
“We are very happy to partner with Amadeus to improve the reach of our products outside the French market. Using Amadeus’ technology and travel distribution expertise and knowledge, travel agents in Europe will have easy access to our products benefitting from some of our latest innovations, such as the E-ticket for SNCF Trains. By leveraging on Amadeus solutions developed with SNCF on the French market, any European travel agency equipped with Amadeus will access in “real time” to all improvements such as E-ticket” commented Fabien Soulet – International Sales Director, SNCF.
“With this solution, accessing rail information and booking the best of rail in conjunction with other travel services (hotel car rental etc) become even easier. Now the European travel agencies will be able to better serve people looking for rail, everyday as well as under particular circumstances such as the recent volcanic disorder.” Olivier Pinna, CEO, Rail Europe Continental.
“Unlike the airlines, the rail industry does not have a common standard data exchange, therefore, making a rail booking requires good railway functionality knowledge and the ability to use several rail booking applications,” commented Diane Bouzebiba, Head of Amadeus Rail. “By integrating railways in Amadeus Selling Platform and our web service product, we are now providing an easier way of distributing rail products. This is a win-win for all parties: for SNCF – who benefit from a greater reach – and for the travel agent, who has a back office feed, improved productivity and access to relevant content to provide a better service for the traveller.”