Expedia Wants New Features With Amadeus NDC Partnership

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Very slowly, the New Distribution Capability is enabling online travel agencies to catch up with the services that airlines offer on their own websites.

It wasn’t too long ago that if you booked a flight through an online travel agency, you couldn’t pick your seat assignment in advance.

That’s because the technology from global distribution systems such as Sabre, Amadeus and Travelport, which connect airlines and online travel agencies, wasn’t capable of doing so.

Enter the New Distribution Capability (NDC) developed by IATA. It has enabled online travel agencies, such as Expedia, Booking.com, and MakeMyTrip to enable passengers to select their seats in advance for many airlines.

Expedia Expands Amadeus Partnership

Madrid-based Amadeus announced this week that it has an expanded partnership where Expedia will integrate Amadeus’ NDC tech, and deploy its aggregated NDC content solution. Expedia downgraded its distribution relationship with Amadeus rival Sabre, based in Texas, a couple of years ago.

An Expedia Group spokesperson said the Amadeus partnership will enable the online travel agency to accelerate its NDC-based services options.

“With that, travelers will benefit from more dynamic offers and a wider range of competitive fares including ancillaries, ultimately leading to richer traveler experiences,” the Expedia Group spokesperson said.

Potential Services That Expedia Might Introduce

Amadeus said the collaboration would also enable Expedia to further personalize services.

Expedia declined to detail which services it might be adding based on the expanded partnership.

There are a range of services that airline websites offer pre-flight that most online travel agencies don’t.

Among them are onboard Wi-Fi, meals and beverages, dedicated security, early boarding, lounge access, and overhead bin space.

Amadeus believes it can leverage its airline and online travel agency relationships — it already provides flight connectivity services to many online travel agencies — to push NDC.

“Building on our relationships with both airlines and travel sellers, we are in a strong position to foster cross-industry collaboration on NDC to the benefit of travelers everywhere,” Sam Abdou, Amadeus’ vice president of global sales airline IT, distribution and global online travel agencies, said in a statement.

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