Automate your handling of the airlines' scheduled changes

The new Schedule Change Update is good news for travel agents. It automatically revalidates, reissues and notifies your customers about minor flight schedule changes, meaning you only have to handle the major schedule changes.

Raise your hand if you enjoy handling flight schedule changes! Probably not a single hand will go up.

Schedule changes include everything from simple time and booking code changes to more complicated issues like airport or airline changes. Thankfully, these days the tedious schedule change process has been automated. However, the travel agent still needs to do the ticket revalidation and reissue process manually.

Time savings on airline changes by 70%

Well, we have some good news for you! Our latest Schedule Change Update solution – an enhanced version of our ‘old’ Schedule Change solution – does the revalidations and reissues automatically.

Several Scandinavian travel agencies, (Sembo among others – who have reduced time spent on airline changes by 70%) are already using the new solution. Other Schedule Change customers are currently migrating to the new version.

“We have added new features which travel agents have been requesting for years. For example, automatic reissues, detection of cancelled ancillary services, accumulated time changes etc.,” says Jeanette Granlund, Solution Manager.

The travel agent calls the shots

So, how does it work? Basically, if there is a change in the ticket like a cancelled flight segment or a time change on a flight segment, Schedule Change Update swings into action and checks the PNR history to determine the change, original time etc.

Then, it checks the travel agent’s rules for schedule changes which have been stored in the settings.

Schedule Change Update will check if the schedule change is acceptable according to the agent’s time setting rules, and, if the change is within this limit, it will go ahead and handle the schedule update automatically.

If the time change is bigger, let’s say one hour, then this is an issue which should be handled manually. It’s up to you to decide the limits!

Cecilia Grass-Schaffer“The beauty of this solution is that you have so much flexibility and can automate as much or as little as you like,” says Cecilia Grass-Scheffer, Solution Management Specialist.

“For example, some travel agencies set a timeframe of 999 minutes as they want the system to handle most schedule changes automatically. Whereas, other agents have set 10-15 minutes as they handle their customers differently.”

Another example is booking code change – where the airline changes the ticket class from H to K, for example. As this does not mean any major change for the customer it can be done automatically by the system. The change differs per airline as some require reissue/revalidation and some no action at all.

Shifting from automatic to manual

Let’s take an airport change example: your flight from Stockholm to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport is cancelled and you are rebooked to Paris Orly airport. This means an airport change and missing your connection to Nice.For travel agents, this solution is a great timesaver as it automates many PNRs that they will never even see

As this is a ‘biggie’, you need to send this PNR to the manual queue so you can find another flight to Charles de Gaulle. In your settings, you need to state that you will handle airport changes manually.

Schedule Change Update will also check other things e.g. ancillary services which may need to be handled manually if there is a change of status code for cancelled flights.

A winning formula

“For travel agents, this solution is a great timesaver as it automates many PNRs that they will never even see. Automating the process means better quality, time savings and happier customers; all in all a winner for the travel agent,” says Jeanette Granlund.

“Another benefit is that the PNRs which end up in the manual queue are sorted in a very explanatory way so you can easily spot the issue - if it is a minimum connecting time error or a non-changeable ticket etc.,” concludes Cecilia Grass-Scheffer.