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Today is the day: 11 years after launching NDC, I am going to find out “what NDC is really all about”, thanks to a new article published in Travel Weekly by Mark Pestronk

“GDS companies have been toll collectors for every booking by a travel agency or a corporate travel department. As the tolls increased every few years, the airlines began complaining that they paid too much, especially in relation to the cost of other kinds of transaction-processing technology (…)
Airlines have finally figured out how to bypass the GDSs, as agencies can now make NDC bookings directly or through a non-GDS intermediary company. The GDSs are scrambling to handle NDC bookings, as well, presumably collecting lower fees.
While it is true that NDC can offer some enhanced services that are not available in the GDS, I believe that the airlines’ primary motivation is not better service but rather saving or reducing GDS booking fees.”

Actually I don’t disagree. This article is a fair summary of why NDC was launched 11 years ago. Technology costs were decreasing while GDS fees were increasing, without enabling enhanced services. Today, airlines have the freedom of choice when dealing with travel agencies. By the way this summary is not different from what ChatGPT stated when I used a prompt asked to explain what NDC is about.

Now that we know what NDC is about, let’s have a great weekend!!