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Can a travel agent book online any airline product today? Yes, if they simply use a booking tool that connects to the airlines via an API. For example Russ has just booked the famous Air New Zealand Skycouch:

Aeronology screenshot

Russ picked this product because it is a good example of an airline product that travel agents cannot easily see on a GDS. At the launch of NDC we used this example as an illustration of what API connectivity could bring to travel agents. After all, this is what NDC is really about.

The good news is that today, travel agents can access any content through any channel (GDS, NDC…) in one place, with full servicing (change, void, refund…), thanks to tools like Aeronology

While agency portals, direct connects and APIs are not new, it’s the first time that I saw a full integration of NDC and 3 GDS (comparing offers by channel based on traveler profiles) with full servicing (post-booking, changes, refunds) in a seamless way. The NZ Skycouch was the cherry on the NDC cake.