The number of airlines and ground handlers using the Worldspan Interchange to process interline electronic tickets (IET) recently jumped from 55 to nearly 170. The dramatic increase represents the commitment of Worldspan and airlines globally to meet IATA’s goal of 100 percent e-ticketing by the end of 2007.
The design, infrastructure and value of the Worldspan Interchange offer airlines and their ground handler partners the most advanced and efficient global e-ticketing platform, including EDIFACT message translation to serve airlines holding IET agreements with other carriers. The Interchange solves multiple business issues faced by airlines around the world in achieving IET readiness, enabling airlines to overcome technology and cost challenges in several ways:
Tiered Pricing: The Interchange slashes the amount of money airlines spend to establish links with other airlines to process interline connections. It is the only solution that provides airlines access to all of their interline partners through a tiered activation fee that leverages the current Worldspan infrastructure and existing e-ticketing connections. Pricing is also considerably lower than per-connection fees charged by other providers.
Immediate Interface to Most IET Platforms: The Interchange is a total solution that facilitates interline e-ticketing industry-wide. Airlines have immediate access to all carriers whose tickets are processed through the Interchange. Through its state-of-the-art design, airlines also gain immediate access to carriers that process on more than 20 different electronic ticketing systems, many of which operate on less advanced platforms.
Comprehensive Infrastructure: The IET infrastructure built into the Interchange removes technology barriers by allowing any electronic ticket-enabled airline to easily, quickly and cost-effectively connect with their interline partners. The Interchange also removes additional electronic ticketing implementation obstacles by providing built-in technology that meets airline-to-ground handler connectivity requirements.
“The Interchange has significantly reduced the time and costs of implementing interline agreements at Northwest,” said Jennifer Deweese, program manager, Interline Electronic Ticketing, Northwest Airlines.
“After IATA’s deadline passes on December 31, 2007, IATA-affiliated travel agencies worldwide will no longer be able to issue paper tickets through their GDSs, which would severely impact airlines that are not e-ticket enabled,” said Kevin Ficco, Worldspan vice president - Airline Distribution and Business Development. “Through the Interchange and our full suite of E-Ticket Technologies, we are helping airlines of all sizes, in every geographic location easily make the shift to e-ticketing using the most cost-efficient and quick-to-implement solutions available.”
The Interchange is a key component of Worldspan E-Ticket Technologies, the only comprehensive suite of e-ticket solutions available to airlines. The suite includes the Worldspan ETDBase, a cost-saving hosting service for airlines without an e-ticket database. Ground Handling Solutions include two IATA-defined methods: the Interactive Method, which allows an operating carrier to retain the e-ticket in its database, and Worldspan’s industry-first Control Method, which allows the ground handler to take control of flight coupons. E-Ticket Interface Solutions provide alternative ETDBase interfaces for airlines without an e-ticket EDIFACT message database or that do not use TCP/IP connectivity. An E-Ticket Technologies Consulting Service is also available to help airlines plan and fulfill all of their e-ticketing requirements.