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Taking contract filing to the next level at STA Travel

Clare de Bono

Head of Product and Innovation, Amadeus UK and Ireland

Editor's Note: STA Travel needed a new contract filing solution to save time, money, and improve accuracy. Clare de Bono tells us how they worked with Amadeus to make their vision a reality.

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At STA Travel , we specialize in providing exclusive discounted fares to students looking for adventure abroad. Being the market leader puts us in a solid position to partner with airlines, but getting all of our unique fares offline to our consultants and online to our customers is a different challenge.

The challenge: lots and lots of numbers

Picture a huge spreadsheet with thousands of cities, date combinations and fare rules – this is what we call fare contracts (a range of highly specific fare rules and conditions). This is the raw material airlines provide us with. Our mission is to sculpt and load this data so that they can be found and booked easily through our reservation systems in just the same way as existing airline-filed fares.

Our biggest concerns are efficiency and accuracy. Can you imagine the manual work and expertise required to load these complex contracts? Speed to market is all important but so is accuracy. If our data isn’t loaded correctly, our sales consultants may not be able to find the best fares, or they may not be able to do it fast enough. If our 20-year-old customer can browse across travel sites from his smartphone in the time it takes our Travel Experts to find our best fares, we may lose a client, and they may lose out on the best available deal that only STA Travel can provide.

How we did it

Our priority was making our entire booking system more user-friendly to save our booking agents’ time. We know that Amadeus has a great track record and a team of expert developers, so we collaborated with their team to take our filing solution to the next level in order to improve our shopping systems.

Amadeus recognised from the start that we had very specific needs and requirements, and they invited us to share these with them and to provide feedback at each stage of the design and development process. That is how our joint contract filing initiative began, and this collaborative approach resulted in a new Contract Filing tool with a host of great built-in features that are already improving our staff’s performance.

The results: top customer service and happy student & youth shoppers!

We launched the new Contract Filing solution last year and it is now able to manage all of our manually filed airline contracts.

The first thing our Travel Experts noticed was how much faster it is to find the best fare. They can now find the cheapest and most relevant travel option in seconds with full confidence that they are seeing all possible fares in our system. The benefits also apply to our digital channel where we can now deliver a rich shopping experience. Accuracy and efficiency of loading has also improved: the fare calculation tools allow us to automate processes which used to be manual, thus saving time and reducing the potential for mistakes. The automated excel feature enables us to massively upload content to update existing fares or to create new ones. These changes have translated into operational savings also.

Our airfare team now need less time to load and update our fare contracts. This means that our unique products are available for sale faster across all our different channels – while we save on training costs and unnecessary manual work for our consultants.

The overall result is that our Travel Experts can now focus on what they do best: selling exceptional experiences to adventurous students with the highest quality of service.

It was a real pleasure to work with Amadeus on designing this solution which enables us to better showcase our unique expertise and product offering for the student community.


Tags

Customer Testimonial, Travel Platform, Guest Post