In travel, ancillaries refer to items like seats, bags, meals, unaccompanied minor, pets, sports equipment, lounge access etc. For airlines, ancillaries have become an important driver of their revenue growth, because of the immense difficulties to recover additional costs such as increased fuel prices through fare increases. In the last financial year, ancillary revenues came to nearly US$50 billion, according to the 2018 Car Trawler Ancillary Revenue Yearbook by Idea Works Company.
However, as a result, the ever-growing complexities in airline offers have created acute challenges to travel agents and agencies. Airlines are bundling and unbundling airfares with ancillaries, which can be confusing to work out what’s the best value package for end consumers.
Expectations have never been higher, and agents are expected to provide superior travel choice and excellent customer service to today’s tech savvy travellers. With more flight choices in the hands of travellers and with more intuitive provider websites, it’s essential that agents are able to book from the widest choice of fares and services to remain competitive. If travel agents don’t maintain or extend their position as trusted travel experts, they risk losing customers, declining revenues and profits and reduced market share when compared to their competitors.
Branded Fares and Ancillaries is a B2B marketing and retailing solution launched by Travelport that specifically targets travel agents and agencies around the world. In a nutshell, it is a solution that gives travel agents instant access to over 200 airline offerings, tailored fares and ancillaries, a view of what is included/excluded in a fare, the cost to upgrade and photos/images of cabins by class.
All this is delivered via a single click within Travelport, which means the agent never has to leave their booking workflow. The results screen gives the agent a clear view of upsell and cross-sell opportunities enabling the traveller to make an informed travel choice. Branded Fares and Ancillaries resides within Travelport’s points of sale, which is made available seamlessly with no action required on the agent side. Users can simply access the visual information by clicking the fare. Without this feature, agents would have to plough through every airline website and try to remember and compare prices, features, inclusions and exclusions.
Branded Fares and Ancillaries was launched in Nov 2014 as part of the Travelport Merchandising Suite. It is available in the majority of the 180 countries in which Travelport operates, to an agency base of around 65,000.
Over 270 airline partnerships were enhanced when they signed up with Travelport to allow agents to view their Branded Fares and Ancillaries within Travelport’s point of sale. By signing up, airlines can differentiate their branded fares and ancillaries, and distribute their content, branding and positioning through Travelport in the way they want. These partners include Qantas, Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Etihad Airways and Delta Airlines.
Travelport has also enhanced the partnerships with online travel agents who are taking up this capability of offering Branded Fares and Ancillaries to their customers.