"World-first" is an overused phrase in travel technology, but Gatwick Airport, of all places, has made such a claim around a service which allows "connecting flights between low cost and full service airlines to be booked in a single transaction."
This raises the prospect that airports could become a distribution channel for airlines, and is another example of the zeitgeist around airports and airlines working together.
The consumer angle - that the booking is financially protected if a connection is missed and a host of other soft benefits - also connects with personalization trends and the idea that the airport experience is not only part of the customer journey but also a revenue opportunity.
But before getting carried away, the Gatwick world-first is limited in scope, both in terms of the airlines involved and where the booking can be made.
As things stand GatwickConnects only includes easyJet, Norwegian and WOW flights, although these three airlines represent 52% of the airport's capacity.
Only certain UK-based routes are included in the initial phase, and the service is only available via a channel on www.gatwickairport.com and for people searching for flights from Skyscanner or Dohop.
At the time of writing, the service was not immediately obvious in the results on either site, but by manipulating the search filters on Dohop it is possible to find it.
Clicking on "select" takes you out of Dohop and onto the GatwickConnects channel where passenger and payment details are filled in.
The site makes it clear that three transactions will take place - easyJet, Norwegian and a fee to GatwickConnects.
Pricing is £27.50 one way for the first passenger and £12.50 for every additional passenger. A return journey is £40 for the first passenger and £25 for every additional passenger. Costs include GatwickConnects costs and website transaction costs.
A spokesperson at Gatwick explained that the initiative had been developed by Gatwick Airport in partnership with Dohop, effectively jointly developing a white-label product.
The idea that a customer can book a flight via an airport's own website is nothing new - the single transaction and financial protection offered is where the world-first claim comes into play.
Consumers pay for the privilege and get access to a premium security line and discounts on lounge, retail and catering at the airport.
The soft benefits sound very much like the products talked about at airline retailing and merchandising events, and Gatwick's decision to offer these benefits raises interesting questions about who owns the customer.
Clearly Gatwick believes it is entitled to get revenue from someone waiting for a connection on its premises in the same way as airlines sell Pringles and duty-free at 30,000 feet.
Mentioning retailing and merchandising, the passenger experience and personalization inevitably leads into NDC, and the idea that airports are getting closer to the booking funnel will go down well at IATA HQ.
The NDC standard is intended to open up airline distribution and SITA, the airport technology specialist, is working on NDC-based projects.
Aviation regulation geeks might also be interested in this move, as GatwickConnects is creating a de facto unofficial alliance and codeshare relationship of sorts between airlines.
Booking a combined easyjet-Norwegian trip on Skyscanner has a lot of similarities with booking direct at an alliance site or at one of the codeshare partner's airline dotcom, particularly if the booking is protected by the airport.
Finally, Ryanair has talked about becoming a feeder airline for long-haul and legacy airlines. A service such as GatwickConnects would allow it to do that without having to bother with the niceties of a proper codeshare or alliance relationship.
GatwickConnects is less than a day old and while the practice of what it does is finding its feet, the theory behind it resonates with a lot of industry issues. It will be interesting to see if other airports are thinking along the same lines.
NB: Tnooz and IATA have partnered to encourage collaboration in the travel tech development community and will host THack @ Hamburg 2015 ahead of this year’s World Passenger Symposium (October 20-22). The hackathon will focus on creating applications and tools to enhance airline passengers' travel experience and explore new airline merchandising opportunities. Click here for details on how to register for THack @ Hamburg 2015.