Global Product Director - Travel Agency Point of Sale, Travelport
As we all dream of the day that travel bookings get back to their pre-coronavirus levels, for many travel agents, refunding and exchanging tickets is still a core part of their job – and it’s not always straightforward.
Ticketing is complex at the best of times, especially when it comes to voiding a ticket, refunds, and revalidation. Add in a global pandemic and an unprecedented number of refund requests and involuntary exchanges, and it becomes a very time-consuming process that causes agents untold stress.
That’s why we have added a new capability to Travelport Smartpoint to streamline the processing of refunds and exchanges called Assisted Ticketing.
The challenges of ticketing
The nuances of ticketing present some key challenges for travel agencies. For example, new agents who are not familiar with cryptic formats and may not be able to perform the complex cryptic entries to complete these kinds of transactions.
Even seasoned agents may know some of the cryptic commands, but since many of the processes are not everyday transactions, they may be uncomfortable with exchanges or creating manual fares.
And on top of this, reduced agency headcount may mean that agencies no longer have specialty desks to do ticketing functions, so it falls to the frontline agent who may not be familiar with the cryptic formats, to complete these tasks.
Introducing Smartpoint Assisted Ticketing
Assisted Ticketing through Travelport Smartpoint will help to relieve some of the ticketing complexity for travel agencies.
Some key features include:
- Issue my ticket: Enabling agents to ensure accuracy before a ticket is issued by reviewing changes or adding to modifiers
- Involuntary change: If an airline has made changes it allows the agent to quickly prepare the ticket for manual exchange and issuance.
- Manual fare builder: Create a manual fare that cannot be system auto-priced, or make changes to a system-generated fare
- Ticket refund: Due to COVID-19, many airlines are allowing agents to refund tickets without penalty – Assisted Ticketing supports full or partial manual refunds
- Ticket void: Void a ticket and issue a new one if the customer has changed their mind rather than exchanging the original
- Ticket revalidation: Agents can revalidate all tickets in a booking file using simple fill-in formats
- Ticket list: Easily see lists of tickets for each passenger issued in a booking file and the ticket status.
By simplifying the ticketing process and speeding up the time it takes to complete these tasks, agencies can expect to see a few key benefits which include:
- Increased efficiency: Assisted Ticketing will allow any agent using Smartpoint to quickly and efficiently perform complex ticketing functions. It will also help to eliminate some inefficiencies by improving the accuracy of data passing from front to mid to back office.
- Reduced service costs: Increased efficiency means reduced manual overhead to service travelers. Agents’ time is freed up to focus on the opportunities to create additional revenue.
- Improved traveler experience: When it comes to canceling or rearranging a trip, it’s no surprise that travelers’ emotions can be fraught. Assisted Ticketing lets agents service travelers fast and improve their experience – allowing your agency to be there for the traveler when it really matters.
How it works
While the new 9.0.2 Smartpoint release is available to both Galileo and Apollo customers the Assisted Ticketing capability will only available to Galileo users. Apollo users upgrading to version 9.0.2 will benefit from performance-related enhancements provided by Edge Proxy.
To start using the Assisted Ticketing feature, you will need to upgrade to Smartpoint 9.0.2. and the capability will be available for any PNR that contains air segments (excluding NDC segments).
Once in the PNR, agents can easily access Assisted Ticketing by clicking the new icon in the top right of the PNR viewer or by clicking the TKT icon that appears on the sidebar.
Smartpoint Assisted Ticketing opens and allows the agent to make various selections, based on the task they need to accomplish. The agent makes their selection and completes the form.
Helping your business recover
You can find a range of support and information on COVID-19 and recovery on our resource hub.
To help your business through the recovery period we have also recently added a new COVID-19 Smartpoint plugin which gives free access to real-time information on government restrictions, country lockdown levels, and quarantine measures.