A recent report found that airline loyalty programs worldwide are composed of 288 million active members, collectively earning around 3.5 trillion points per year1. For the top ten airline loyalty programs alone, these points are equivalent to a value of over $90 billion, with estimates for the total worth of all programs running well into the $100 billion mark.
It is said that doctors make the worst patients, because they tend to know too much about what's going on at the other end of the table and are therefore constantly interfering to ensure they get the best level of service possible. Often they have their own opinions about how to improve the service to a level far superior to what the doctor on duty and his/her team are managing to provide at the moment.
Next time a sales guy shows up in your office and tries to sell you a PSS solution that supports NDC, stop him/her right there and request one clarification: Is the solution you are talking about genuinely achieving NDC objectives and NDC native or merely NDC compliant?
Should we invest in this new NDC native passenger services platform that claims to solve all the distribution problems that we have been worried about?
Civil aviation was an early adopter of computers, with reservation systems going electronic as early as the 1950s with the Semi-Automated Business Environment pioneered by American Airlines. Other airlines followed this example and set up their own systems, and in due course computerized reservations became the norm in this industry which was already technology-intensive from an infrastructure perspective. But the industry was simply unable to sustain this momentum beyond a certain point.
Every year, airlines burn billions of dollars on delays and consequent passenger compensation claims. A whole industry has sprung up around airline disruptions, with the promise of helping passengers to claim the money due to them in this way. EU regulations like EU261 result in six figure sums of money in compensation, and IT is often the only solution to avoid disruptions and enable airlines to get back on track quickly.