Consolidators, IATA And BSP

You have now seen all the standard content types but if you have a specific request, be sure to ask. For example we were asked if it is possible to create hotspots on a supplied map. The solution below allows us to create multiple hotspots with captions and icons.

Travel agents can purchase tickets directly from airlines, as long as the agency is “IATA accredited” – basically a process which requires them to satisfy financial criteria so the airlines know they’re going to get paid. However it’s also possible to purchase through a “ticket consolidator” who will provide credit to the travel agent and makes a small commission on each transaction.

In Australia consolidators include Air Tickets (part of Helloworld Travel), Consolidated Travel and CVFR Consolidation.

Agencies which are IATA accredited sign up to a system called the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) which automatically takes the money for tickets purchased out of their bank account and distributes it to the individual airlines. Fares have lots of rules around them – like a certain cheap fare being subject to an advance purchase condition. If an agency issues a ticket in violation of these rules they get charged something called an ADM (Agency Debit Memo) which also comes out of their account automatically as part of the regular BSP withdrawal. Errors in the other direction, where the airline repays money to the agent, are called an ACM (Agency Credit Memo).

NDC (New Distribution Capability) is a travel industry-supported program (NDC Program) launched by IATA for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard (NDC Standard). The NDC Standard enhances the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents.

The NDC Standard is open to any third party, intermediary, IT provider or non-IATA member, to implement and use. The NDC Standard enables the travel industry to transform the way air products are retailed to corporations, leisure and business travelers, by addressing the industry’s current distribution limitations: Product differentiation and time-to-market, Access to full and rich air content, Transparent shopping experience.

Airlines, travel management companies, online travel agencies, corporate buyers, global distribution systems and other technology players contribute to the NDC Standard. Through a collaborative approach, participants ensure that the supporting schemas are functional and can be used by all regardless of business focus, geographic location, size, target markets and individual commercial policies.