A New Cranky Talk is Live – NDC Woes

America West, NDC, Overbooking, Podcast

Listen on Apple, Spotify, direct, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Yeah, yeah, it’s been awhile, I know. But we are back, so all of you can get your Dave fix before the holidays. Today we are talking about NDC. I know this is a topic I’ve written about extensively here, but we’re trying to get a different viewpoint across in this podcast format.

I’ve talked extensively about how NDC — or New Distribution Capability, the standard for modernizing the airline booking process for third parties — is just not ready for primetime. This is largely thanks to lagging implementations by vendors, in our case, the Sabre global distribution system.

Despite that, airlines have still been pushing ahead with American leading the charge. But why do I say it’s not ready? Today, I thought we’d zoom in and give some examples. And who better to do that than actual Cranky Concierge employees who have to deal with this day in and day out?

There’s no way we could talk about all the problems, but this should give you an idea of some of the hurdles from the perspective of people who have tried to use Sabre for NDC and struggled.

Email Dave here to tell him what you’re going to get him for Christmas.

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4 comments on “A New Cranky Talk is Live – NDC Woes

  1. How much of these issues are AA specific vs. Sabre specific? Aren’t there other options to book AA tickets with better technology?

    1. Brandon – It’s not really AA vs Sabre as much as it is Sabre vs any other options that exist. There are other options that I think would have a better result than the hot garbage Sabre has put out there, but it’s not as simple as just switching. It has to be tied in to the agency back-end systems, and we don’t control those. So we unfortunately have to stick with what our giant host agency has on offer. Others may have better luck with some of the Sabre problems I mentioned like not being able to change a ticket with more than 1 person. But there are still some NDC-specific issues that nobody can overcome.

  2. Have you signed up for AA NDC directly with Accelya/Farelogix? You might be able to long sell via SPRK that way. Far from perfect (it’s no EDIFACT green screen), but perhaps an upgrade over AA.com when Sabre-NDC is unusable. For example that CHO-SFO RT in F is available via NDC directly even though the CLT-CHO leg is a Y-only ERJ. And you’ll be able to use unused tickets (didn’t know that about MCOs in NDC).

    1. emac – If only it were that simple. Without turning this into something too long, we use a host agency since we aren’t big enough to get contracts directly from the airlines (at least, not good ones). Our host agency has so far chosen not to find an alternate that it is willing to offer. We can’t really go out on our own and get a direct deal with AA unless we want to book everything through that deal. This isn’t going to work for several reasons. The idea has crossed my mind many times, but there’s not really a simple way for this to work.

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