Worldspan travel agents will be able to issue electronic tickets with Virgin Atlantic and bmi british midland following agreements signed by both airlines to participate in the global distribution system’s (GDS) e-ticketing service.
bmi british midland has further signed to upgrade within the Worldspan system to Direct Sellsm status.
This latter function means that agents will be able to sell the airline’s seats directly from Worldspan’s neutral availability screen rather than having to switch to the bmi british midland screen to check availability and secure a guaranteed seat.
The higher-level access for bmi british midland bookings, set to go live by the end of the year, will be available over all Worldspan’s platforms including Worldspan for Windows, Worldspan Go! via the Internet and Trip Manager.
Meanwhile, e-ticketing for bmi british midland and Virgin Atlantic is set to go live next year.
Graham Nichols, Worldspan vice president for EMEA and Asia said: “We are delighted that Virgin and bmi british midland have contracted for our electronic ticketing functionality.
“This method of issuing tickets improves operational efficiencies for both the participating carriers and Worldspan subscribers. It reduces costs associated with document printing and distribution and provides additional benefits such as quicker airport check-in times, enhanced revenue accounting and reduced ticket fraud.”
Apart from reducing costs and improving operational efficiency for the subscribing airlines, e-ticketing also streamlines agency functions and overcomes the risk of clients losing valuable coupon documents.
Under the e-ticket system, agents will benefit from smoother accounting. Once a carrier accepts the electronic ticket sell message Worldspan prints the applicable settlement coupon at the agency location according to Billing Settlement Plan guidelines.
“Electronic ticketing provides demonstrable benefits to airlines, agents and passengers and with more and more travellers requesting e-tickets, Worldspan travel agents will be able to satisfy the growing demand for bmi british midland and Virgin Atlantic,” said Mr. Nichols.
Worldspan provides global electronic distribution of travel information, Internet products and connectivity, and electronic commerce capabilities for travel agencies, travel service providers and corporations worldwide. The company`s three lines of business are travel supplier services, e-commerce, and global distribution systems for the worldwide travel industry. The Worldspan reservations system provides nearly 21,000 travel agencies and other users worldwide with travel data and booking capabilities for hundreds of the world`s leading travel supplier services. Worldspan is the market leader in e-commerce for the travel industry, processing more than 50 percent of all online travel agency bookings. The company maintains world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Worldspan is owned by affiliates of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL), Northwest Airlines (NASDAQ: NWAC) and TWA Airlines LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines, Inc.