While the airline industry has been slow to progress with NDC adoption, there has been some improvement: “Everyone can now spell and say NDC,” says Traci Mercer, senior vice president of marketplace segments at Sabre.
Speaking in the PhocusWire Studio at the 2021 Phocuswright Conference, Mercer says that although the industry has made less-than-remarkable progress – forging ahead by about 10% since NDC was introduced around 10 years ago – the COVID-19 pandemic did mark a turning point.
Mercer says that the crisis made stakeholders come together and realize “we’ve been through hell and we’ve got to change and that may apply to … how we think about the future.”
But while attitudes may be aligned, there remains “a pretty big disparity between commercially what’s being pushed and technically what’s capable and able to be done today. And that’s where we need to get more focused.”
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Mercer adds that more attention needs paid to the privacy and the legalities around data collection, otherwise the idea of true personalization becomes incredibly challenging.
Airlines need to move away from having a siloed view on what they want to sell and actually consider what travelers need and want, which she believes Sabre is uniquely positioned to address.
In conversation with PhocusWire editor in chief Kevin May, Mercer also discusses the state of airline standards, the need for “light and thin” UI/UX and why humans will be the add-ons of the future.
Watch the full interview below.
Executive Inteview: Sabre on unraveling the always complex world of airline distribution