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Amadeus Exchange Relief: a consolidator’s hero

Ted Habib

President, Compare Travel Inc.

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Editor’s note: It’s always rewarding when our customers share their kudos with us. We recently received an email from Ted Habib, president of Chicago-based Compare Travel Inc., complimenting us on our Amadeus Exchange Relief solution. Here are Ted’s insights, edited for blog readership.

I’ve owned Compare Travel Inc. for 32 years and my relationship with Amadeus dates back to 1990. When the financial crisis hit in 2008, unfortunately, we closed our doors. Yet we rebounded in 2013 and are now stronger than ever, serving as a consolidator to more than 300 travel agents around the country.

A key reason for our success is the way we buy and sell tickets. We pride ourselves on providing the lowest fares for both one-way and round-trip flights, plus nearly 300 different fare types. The chance of someone beating our fares in business and first class is slim to none! When we arrive at the office at 9 a.m., our European partners are about to go home – and we buy tickets from them in their currency. As the day unfolds, our Australian partners get in and we buy tickets from them. The same goes for our partners in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Amadeus solves exchange pain

Amadeus has been an important part of our company’s success. Their global reach is incomparable, which gives us leverage to move PNRs all over the world. Since the beginning, it’s been easy to work with Amadeus. While I’m not a technology guru, Amadeus innovations have truly made a difference, such as the homogenous PNR, informative pricing, net fare seat searches, Amadeus training and support, and more. The Amadeus system was developed by travel agents for travel agents, a huge plus. Frankly, consolidators who don’t use Amadeus are missing the boat!

Another innovation we can’t live without is Amadeus Exchange Relief, a true “lifeline” for consolidators. In the past, debit memos gave me ulcers – but no more. Amadeus Exchange Relief saves tons of time; the turnaround is just one hour! Regrettably, in the past I have paid debit memos to a tune of $1,700 on one ticket. There were also times I spent 30 to 45 minutes working on one exchange, only to realize I’d accidentally missed the taxes and was “hit” with a debit memo.

Today, I won’t touch an exchange without Amadeus Exchange Relief. I simply give it to Amadeus, and they do all the work. In one hour, you can make as much as $500 per ticket! No other GDS in the world offers this solution. I recommend Amadeus Exchange Relief to any agent who will listen. The solution is so important to consolidators that if it ever went away, our lives would never be the same. And did I say our agents make between $100 to $1,800 per ticket? (Yes, that is per ticket.)

In summary, the travel industry has changed immensely since the early days when we sent data on floppy disks, marketed our fares via broadcast faxes, and used couriers to ship tickets around the world. Although a lot has changed, one thing remains the same: Amadeus’ commitment to the consolidator, to which I say, “Good job, Amadeus!”

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