In June 2020, ATPCO released an ‘emergency flexibility’ solution to help deal with the large volume of ticket changes needed due to COVID-19. Making changes to airline ticket rules has been particularly difficult in the past and so this was a welcome move when it was rolled out across the industry on June 7.
About Emergency Flexibility
The emergency flexibility framework allows for restrictions on previously-issued tickets to be relaxed and provides an automated way to amend the rules on ticket changes. Before this, only rule conditions that were in effect when the ticket was issued could be used on existing tickets.
This means tickets bought before COVID-19 can be updated to comply with new airline policies on fee waivers and validity periods. The automation also means that both agents and travelers can understand the rules being put in place by airlines, without needing to go through individual airlines’ policies, which may change regularly.
Who can take advantage of Emergency Flexibility?
All Travelport customers that work on ticket exchanges with an airline that has adopted emergency flexibility have access to this solution through our agency or API channel.
Have all airlines adopted Emergency Flexibility?
More than 60 airlines have adopted this solution so far. Participating airlines include Air France-KLM, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, and Singapore Airlines.
Supporting industry recovery
Travelport has been undertaking a number of other initiatives to help our customers and the wider industry through recovery.
- Extending validity of tickets to two years: As the COVID-19 situation continues to change quickly, many airlines have now extended the life of their tickets to up to two years. As a result, Travelport has now extended the validity of tickets from one year to two years for automated voluntary exchanges through our agent desktop and API channels. This means that agents can now perform automated and manual reissues or exchanges for tickets up to two years’ old.
- COVID-19 Smartpoint plugin: This gives travel agencies access to information on government restrictions, lockdowns, and safety measures across the globe – all within the agent’s Smartpoint workflow.
- Data insights: We recently ran a series of webinars that looked at recovery trends in EMEA, APAC and the Americas. Watch the webinars on-demand here.
- Recovery hub: This resource hub contains details on supplier safety measures and policies and links to other useful information.