Virgin Atlantic is using new global distribution system (GDS) technology to incentivise travel agents and ensure they apply the correct commissions to travel booked on the airline. The new technology will help the airline minimise agency debit memos (ADMs) in the wake of its revised commission structure.
The airline is paying more commissions to particularly productive agencies, and for bookings at specific times or to particular destinations. Sabre Connected agencies will be the first to benefit from the programme, as Virgin Atlantic is rolling it out using a Sabre Travel Network product called Compensation Manager.
This programme will involve more agencies as soon as the other GDS operators have developed similar products.
Paul Wait, Virgin Atlantic’s general manager for UK sales, said Compensation Manager would reduce the likelihood of agencies getting ADMs as a result of the airline’s new commission arrangements, because the carrier would itself specify the commission payable on each booking, and enable proactive agencies to switch-sell and earn more.
“Compensation Manager allows us to apply different levels of remuneration, reward and incentives to specific segments of the industry, as and when we want to,” Wait said. “It will take the uncertainty out of the equation, and help keep commission payments accurate.”
Hamish Broom, Sabre Travel Network’s director of associate sales and service, said the product pointed to the added value that Sabre Travel Network was able to offer its airline customers.
“Virgin Atlantic’s use of Compensation Manager is a perfect example of where we bring value to both airlines and travel agents,” Broom said.
“We are helping the airline optimise its new commission strategy while making life easier for our travel agency customers, and reducing their exposure to ADMs.”
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