Worldspan and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) today announced availability of a new rail ticketing solution which enables travel agents in the UK to issue and print Swiss rail passes and point-to-point tickets from their office equipment and ATB2 printers at no additional cost to the agent. Worldspan travel agents with an SBB contract can log on to SBB’s agency-dedicated website railticketing.ch to book and issue tickets in real time.
Graham Nichols, vice president and general manager for Worldspan EMEAA, explains: “The rail ticketing solution will enable agents to issue both air and rail tickets locally on the ATB2 printers in their offices, saving agents time, effort and cost.”
Using this jointly developed state-of-the-art application, Worldspan travel agents can provide a comprehensive, cost-effective rail travel service for both leisure and corporate customers of SBB. For years now Worldspan has been investing in developing rail travel solutions for agents and rail operators across Europe and has rolled out solutions for France’s SNCF, Eurostar UK Ltd, SNCB/NMBS in Belgium, and now SBB.
The new solution was market-tested with Worldspan travel agent Bridge Travel in London. Bridge Travel is the UK’s leading short breaks tour operator, serving more than 350,000 customers a year. Product director Jackie Willcocks said: “Tour operators need to provide a broad range of services for their customers and the rail element is an important component of a Swiss travel holiday. The new ticketing solution has proven to be reliable and is a great help to our back office in enhancing our service standards.”
According to Daniel Bachofner, Manager Incoming at SBB, rail travel is an integral part of life for the Swiss population.Ê “Almost two million people regularly travel by rail here and our network covers 800 stations. The solution we’ve developed with Worldspan will help maintain our dominant position in this travel market and extend our services and revenue potential to a wider audience across Europe.”
SBB and Worldspan will continue rolling out the new solution to other European agency markets over the coming year.