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Let me guess… you’ve been really jonesing for another piece about NDC and travel agency booking strategies, right? After all, there has been a lot of change in the last couple of weeks with both United and Air Canada rolling out plans… and those plans could not be more different than how American has approached it.
I’m hoping to have more on United soon, but today I have a 25 minute interview with Mark Nasr, Senior Vice President, Products, Marketing, and eCommerce. Mark sees NDC implementation as a large scale change management program.
The airline has done tons of research and focus group work to come up with its strategy. And as you might imagine, putting that kind of effort has resulted in a methodical, more sensible plan. I don’t like everything in this plan (including the distribution recovery charge), but I still understand the rationale. Mark had plenty to say about why this is the right way to do it, and he did not hold back on his feelings about how other AAirlines have done it. Let’s see if you agree.
You can find the episode on all the regular podcast providers, or you can just listen here:
Cranky – I was impressed by the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of Nasr’s comments and AC’s overall strategy. Change management, communication, training…..all basic building blocks of a successful implementation. I *think* AA will regret not taking this route, but the frat bro culture that permeates a lot of the AA organization probably likes the “in your face” approach that they are taking. And, who knows? As many of your commenters have mentioned, if you’re going to take that path, this summer is the time to do it.
IMHO, the carrot-and-stick approach of AC will lead to a more sustainable future, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see UA move forward in a direction similar to AC. Of course, this is also a great up opportunity for UA to make a “put up or shut up” argument to the corporate travel and TMC communities, as UA could easily mimic AA’s sales and distribution choices in 6-12 months if AA pays no price for their decisions.
These are such interesting times, eh? Thanks for the informative podcast!