The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has initiated a pilot project with a plan to display online air ticket booking facilities on various travel or booking websites to facilitate passengers to make their preferences in terms of meals and seats. This project by IATA has been launched in a time when airlines in India have started unbundling their ancillary services. There are several other international airlines that offer paid services such as in-flight entertainment, fast-track immigration clearance, lounge access, and Wi-Fi access. Hence, with the implementation of this project, passengers will have a clear picture on charges they will have to pay for or what they can choose for in advance, besides, flight booking.
New Distribution Capability
According to the director of IATA – Eric Leopold, this plan will get implemented by 2015-16 globally. It has sought approvals from global regulators such as the US Department of Transport for this project, which is called New Distribution Capability (NDC). He also stated that the booking sites of NDC will not only be a place where passengers will get information on flight timings and base fares, but information about other services of an airline and their charges, as well. The NDC programme will be fully compliant with privacy regulations and laws, he further added.
A brainchild of IATA, NDC project is about developing an XML-based data transmission standard for communication between travel agents and airlines to offer various flight services to their prospective customers. This initiative by IATA is a logical follow up to e-ticketing service that it had introduced some years back.
Indian passengers who now have to pay for lounge access, preferential seating and extra baggage charges for music and sports equipment will look forward to this new initiative by IATA as it will help them to compare prices of cheap international flights on offer by different airlines and their ancillary services at just one place – the NDC booking websites.