Travel

GDS Policy

PRECISION AIR SERVICES PLC
GDS Booking Policy
Amended March 2017


1. INTRODUCTION

Increasing operating costs has been a significant factor affecting the aviation industry in the recent past. Cost efficiency is therefore a key success factor that the industry must pursue. Distribution costs account for a significant portion of the airline industry costs so any savings on them greatly contributes to an airlines’ positive financial performance.

With this in mind, Precision Air (PW) would like to enlist the co-operation of our valued Travel Trade Partners (Travel Service providers) to help minimize distribution costs incurred in the process of booking and selling the PW product through Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

Precision Air would like to assure the trade that this policy is in line with the general industry practice and is intended to eliminate the avoidable distribution costs caused by improper GDS booking practices.

2. PURPOSE OF A GDS POLICY

Travel Service providers should take note that Precision Air pays a fee for each booking created, cancelled or changed. These fees are charged even when the passenger has actually never travelled.

A limited volume of transactions per booking is acceptable and forms a natural business pattern, however, it is when such bookings become abnormal that a corrective action needs to be taken and fraudulent practices need to be penalized.

The guidelines and expectations as set in this policy address the “how” of reserving seats and ticketing itineraries while using a Global Distribution System (GDS) so as to eliminate unnecessary and avoidable costs.

By means of this policy Precision Air wishes to lay guidelines for applying best practices for GDS usage and the action that will be taken for each abuse.

We wish to reiterate the fact that following these guideline will not only benefit Precision Air but will also benefit our Travel Trade Partners (Travel Service providers) by ensuring that a true and accurate seat availability position for Precision Air is reflected in the GDS at any point in time. This ultimately allows Travel Service providers access to a greater number of seats for firm and definite passengers and ultimately increased Sales.

Precision Air counts on your support and commitment towards this goal.

3. DEFINITION OF ABUSIVE GDS PRACTICES

Any booking and/or ticketing practice that results in unnecessary and avoidable distribution costs and/or loss of seat sale opportunities are termed as GDS misuse or violation. These improper practices result in excess GDS fees.

4. IMPLEMENTATION DATE

Precision Air is implementing this policy with immediate effect. The penalties tabulated in page 8 under section 10.1. It’s a continuation of the booking policy which was applicable from 15th March 2013. Travel Service providers are therefore requested to implement this immediately.

5. APPLICATION

This policy applies to all Travel Agencies of Precision Air including Travel Service providers, Online Travel Service providers and any person or entity accessing Precision Air inventory via internet or any other electronic means.

Travel Service providers must ensure that all its employees in all of its locations are made aware of this policy and of its future amendments.

The terms and conditions of this policy and its associated practices and procedures are subject to change upon notice by Precision Air.

6. Auditing of Bookings

Precision Air reserves the right to audit all booking transactions to identify non-compliant booking practices.

7. Fraudulent Booking Practices Covered in this Policy

7.1 DUPLICATE BOOKINGS

  • Travel Service providers SHOULD NOT create duplicate bookings for a passenger in the same Passenger name record (PNR) or across multiple PNRs.
  • Travel Service providers must not create multiple traveling itineraries thus blocking several flights when such itinerary is impossible to fly by the passenger.
  • Travel Service Provider must not duplicate any reservation booked in another CRS/GDS or Precision Air’s internal reservation system or by another agency.
  • Since there is no business requirement in having a Duplicate booking, even a single duplicate booking will warrant a debit memo.

7.2 FICTITIOUS NAMES AND SPECULATIVE BOOKINGS

  • Travel Service providers must not create any fictitious, testing or training bookings in the live GDS environment. Such action blocks airline seats from sale.
  • All GDSs provide training environments and Travel Service providers must use these training modes for testing or personnel training purposes. Creating live PNRs for training purposes using the live / active GDS environment is strictly not allowed.
  • Fictitious bookings can be identified by fictitious names which include valid names followed by initials, fake names, names of famous personalities with no intent to travel. Also falling in this abuse category are bookings made for testing purposes as well as bookings made with the intention of blocking inventory (seats).

Examples of Fictitious Names:

- Mouse/Mickey                         - Test/Tango
- Tango/AAA                             - Obama / Barack
- Smith/A/B/C                            - NTBA/XXX
- Test/Precision                          - SHAH/TEST

  •  Names of famous personalities could be absolutely genuine and therefore Airline will take a call based on the evaluation & pattern of the booking.
  • Since there is no business need for a fictitious booking, an ADM will be issued even if there is one fictitious booking found.

7.3 INACTIVE SEGMENTS

  • It is the Travel service provider’s responsibility to monitor their queues and release inactive segments with HX, UN, UC, NO, SC, TK, TL, TN, UU, US, PN, WL, HL, WN, DL, DS, IX, MM, RM, GL or WK status codes from the booking.
  • Failure to remove these segments 24 hours before departure and / or within the same calendar month when the segment has been cancelled by Precision Air will result in an ADM.

7.4 CHURNING OF BOOKINGS

Churning of bookings refers to situations where Travel Service providers continually book, cancel and rebook segments or entire reservations without necessarily ticketing.

  • Travel Service providers must avoid repeated cancelling and re-booking as this leads to unreasonably higher GDS fees for the airline
  • Churning also includes repeated re-booking of segments cancelled by Precision Air, repeated booking and cancelling of segments within the same PNR or across PNRs and within the same GDS or across GDSs
  • Precision Air understands that a small amount of these practices are a part of the ticketing process; however, any cancellations & re-bookings done in excess of 3 for the same booking will be considered as an attempt to circumvent ticketing time limits or meeting GDS productivity and thus an ADM will be issued.

7.5 PASSIVES

  • Travel Service Provider may only book passive segments in its CRS/GDS system for the purpose of ticketing an already existing reservation in PW’s internal reservation system.
  • Booking passive segments in order to satisfy CRS/GDS productivity requirements, to circumvent fare rules or to fulfill administrative functions is strictly not allowed.
  • Passive segments shall be created for the purpose of ticketing only and must be cancelled immediately after issuing the ticket.
  • Passives are not permitted against live bookings on the same or different GDS systems by the same agent.

7.6 INVALID TICKETING

  • Travel Service providers must not protect bookings with invalid ticket numbers these include restricted, used, refunded voided or non-existent ticket numbers.
  • Travel Service providers must not issue confirmed tickets against bookings that are on request or non-confirmed status in Precision Air’s internal reservation system
  • Travel Service providers must ensure that the class code (Booking Class / RBD) used for issuing ticket is identical to the code that exists on the PNR
  • For interline itineraries, Travel Service providers must validate Precision Air bookings with ticket numbers of only those airlines that have a Interline ticketing agreement with Precision Air.
  • Usage of invalid ticket number to create dummy bookings or to circumvent ticketing time limits will result in a debit memo.

7.7 PASSENGER AND TRAVEL SERVICE PROVIDERS 24 HOUR CONTACT

  • Travel Service providers must provide either the Passenger’s contact or the Travel Service providers’ telephone contact that is reachable 24 hours, Seven Days a Week. These contacts are critical for the airline to reach and inform Passengers when disruptions affecting passengers’ journey occur within 72 hours before departure
  • Travel Service providers are responsible for informing passengers they have booked of any schedule changes that occur 72 hours or more before departure time of the booked flight. Schedule change queues must be handled promptly by all Travel Service providers for this purpose

7.8 BOOKING ON DAY OF DEPARTURE

  • Travel Service Providers must not create any booking on the day of departure without instant ticketing
  • Travel Service providers are responsible for informing passengers they have booked of any schedule changes that occur 72 hours or more before departure time of the booked flight. Schedule change queues must be handled promptly by all Travel Service providers for this purpose.

7.9 NAME CHANGES

  • Travel Service providers are not allowed to change names on reservations unless entered for the purpose of correcting a mi-spelling of a passengers name.

8. PRECISION AIR TICKETING POLICY AND RECOMMENDED GDS BEST PRACTICES

  • Travel Service providers must always use current fares rather than pre-stored fares to issue tickets.
  • Travel Service providers must adhere to ticketing time limit and ensure that a booking is either ticketed or cancelled before expiry of the ticketing time limit.
  • Travel Service providers must report genuine ticket numbers that is valid for travel on associated PNRs.
  • Travel Service providers must collect and report accurately all taxes, fees and surcharges imposed by local and foreign government.
  • Travel Service providers must ensure collection of penalties for no show, cancellation, re-issue etc as applicable.
  • Travel Service providers must action queues promptly and ensure that the passenger is notified of any changes to his or her booking as soon as possible. Travel Service providers hold the responsibility to advise schedule changes that occur 72 hours or more before departure.
  • Travel Service providers must provide own and passenger’s 24/7 (mobile) contact on the correct GDS fone field or through OSI element to the airline to facilitate information to passengers for flight disruptions occurring within 72 hours.
  • Travel Service providers must never create any active or passive booking or transaction for achieving productivity or incentive targets set by GDS
  • Travel Service providers must take appropriate and timely follow-up action for any un-ticketed bookings to ensure that there is no wastage of airline seats.
  • Travel Service providers that use more than one GDS must book and ticket a specific passenger itinerary within the same GDS.
  • Travel Service providers must not create PNRs to hold or block seats due to expected demand, customer indecision, or to circumvent any of Precision Air’s fare rules or policies such as ticketing time limit etc
  • Travel Service providers must not change names once a PNR is created
  • Travel Service providers must not create bookings that violate minimum connecting time requirements.
  • Travel Service providers must provide customer’s first and last names which are identical to the customer’s passport. Where a customer does not have first name, the accepted practice is to use “UFN” in place of first name.
  • Travel Service providers must comply with applicable government regulations and provide customer’s security information that is required on the PNR.
  • In case of changes to itineraries in a passenger name record (PNR), it is necessary to insert again any special service requests from the original booking. This includes unaccompanied minors and special meal requests. When an SSR message is needed for only part of the itinerary, the special service request must be flight specific and not requested for all flights

9. TERMS OF APPLICATION

  • Precision Air reserves the right to apply this policy at any time after he stipulated effective date.
  • Precision Air may add or remove any parameters as per business needs with no prior intimation to the Travel Service provider. As such the travel service provider is expected to refer to the policy from time to time.
  • Precision Air holds the Travel Service providers responsible and will charge for any loss or damages incurred by Precision Air due to non-adherence to this policy by the relevant Travel Service providers. Charges will be as per the schedule tabulated under table 1 on page 8 of this policy document.
  • Precision Air reserves the right to block any Travel Service providers’ access to view, book or ticket Precision Air inventory in case of non-compliance to this policy.
  • Precision Air further reserves the right to cancel any un-ticketed PNRs of Travel Service providers who have been identified as non-compliant to this policy.

10. PROCESS FLOW FOR DEBIT MEMO

  • Precision Air reserves the right to raise ADMs for fraudulent practices from time to time and not necessarily limited to the above violations.
  • Precision Air also reserves the right to revise the debit memo charges from time to time with no prior intimation to the travel service provider.
  • Precision Air reserves the right to use BSP link for raising debit memos
  • Precision Air will raise and send debit memos monthly to the Travel Service providers
  • Travel Service providers can request their GDS for PNR history in case they need them for verification
  • If any discrepancy is found then the Travel Service provider must submit formal dispute within 15 days of debit memo date (as per BSP Guideline
  • Precision Air will revert to the Travel Service provider within 60 days from the date of dispute (as per BSP Guideline)
  • If Precision Air rejects agency dispute then ADM will be billed within the same fortnight of rejection
  • An incorrectly disputed ADM will attract an administrative charge of USD 10

Please note: Blocking access to PW inventory may be considered for persistent abusers


10.1 DEBIT MEMO FEE STRUCTURE Table 1: Penalties for Abusive GDS Practice

Table 1: Penalties for Abusive GDS Practice

ABUSE CATEGORY MEASURE PENALTY
Duplicate Bookings Count and Cost of Duplicate Bookings USD 7 per duplicate bookings. Blocking access to PW inventory may be considered for persistent abusers
Fictitious Bookings Count and Cost of Fictitious bookings USD 7 Per Fictitious bookings. Access to PW inventory may be blocked for persistent abusers.
Inactive Segments Number of Inactive Segment USD 7 Per Inactive segment. Access to PW inventory may be blocked for persistent abusers.
Churning Identify segments where values of the following fields match: Passenger Name + Agency (IATA) Number + Departure Date + Flight Number + City Pair (origin / destination). If more than 3 bookings are found for segments with the above conditions, an ADM is raised ADM penalties of USD 7 per segment / passenger. Access to PW inventory may be blocked for persistent abusers.
Passive Bookings Count and cost of Passive bookings USD 7 Per Passive segment. Access to PW inventory may be blocked for persistent abusers.
Passenger or Agents 24/7 Contact Count of and avoidable costs associated with Passengers not advised of disruptions due to lack of Passenger or Travel Service providers contact in PNR. Service Providers cost that would have been avoided if contact information was provided will be billed to the booking agency.
Invalid Ticketing Count of bookings with invalid tickets USD 7 Per booking with invalid ticket. Access to PW inventory may be blocked for persistent abusers.