airlines continue to adapt their policies and create new guarantees to address
traveler concerns due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, ATPCO has created a new type
of rich content offering to help them communicate these changes.
“Reassurance UPAs” (Universal Product Attributes) live within ATPCO’s
Routehappy Rich Content platform and enable travelers to easily see the steps
airlines are taking, for example offering flexible booking or enhanced cabin
cleaning or food service hygiene measures.
development of the new product attributes began in early March – managed by a
50-person crisis team - and now covers 90 airlines representing two-thirds of
the flight schedule.
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member of the flying public needs to know what airlines are doing to protect us,”
says Robert Albert, ATPCO’s executive vice president of retailing.
is in a very unique position to be able to very quickly, on behalf of the
entire industry ... to create this relevant, crisis-oriented messaging
integrated into flight shopping.
“And we decided we
needed the messaging to be as if it came from airlines directly. We figured out
all of their brand style guidelines, colors, the exact messages these 90
airlines were saying in the market, what’s important to them... and created
custom messages and graphics, which is unprecedented.”
says that not only does he expect these specific product messages to become a
permanent part of flight shopping - “because we’re all going to care about
things like cleanliness in a way that we didn’t before” - but he also expects going
forward that the Routehappy hub will be used for any type of urgent messaging
airlines may need to communicate.
UPAs are typically only available to airlines via a paid subscription, for now
ATPCO is offering these at no cost to airlines and sales channels. The product
is already in use by channels including Sabre, Serko and Travix.
are an industry resource - we don’t operate in a for-profit model. So we’re
going to do this for as long as we can to get through the crisis,” says
Jonathan Savitch, ATPCO’s chief commercial officer.
that we are looking at ways to overall simplify our business model ... but we
can’t do things for free indefinitely.”
now, ATPCO is continuing to add new product attributes as airlines update their
policies and is talking to airlines that want to incorporate the UPAs into
their direct sales channels. Albert says they are also working to make the content
available in languages other than English.