Payment cards are the go-to method to pay for flights. Tried and tested for decades, they are convenient and dependable. In the travel agency channel, they account for at least 62% of the payments airlines receive worldwide. But are airlines really making the most of this payment method to enable business growth?
With today’s ecommerce payment technology, airlines can easily and efficiently process card payments on their own websites. But in the travel agency channel, airlines have traditionally had to navigate longer, more complicated and restrictive payment cycles.
In an effort to improve payment processes for indirect sales, TUI fly signed a strategic partnership with Amadeus to adopt the Amadeus Premium Authorisation and the Amadeus Card Capture solutions. In addition, TUI fly renewed its distribution agreement with Amadeus, making a broad range of fares, including 20kg free baggage allowance, free desk check-in or web check-in and on-board catering (one snack and one non-alcoholic drink) available to Amadeus travel agents as its business model evolves.
With the Amadeus Premium Authorisation solution, TUI fly's bank has much more visibility on card payments which are being processed. This means the airline will better control card acceptance rates, which in turn could lead to higher sales and lower transaction costs. The airline can also improve cash flow by reducing the time it takes to process card payments. Amadeus Card Capture consolidates reporting from any GDS booking to save the airline manual time and effort in the back office.
“Amadeus brings a fresh outlook to card payments in the indirect channel to make it more manageable and cost effective. Their vast payments network includes our existing acquiring bank. That’s why setup was painless, allowing us to quickly enable all functionalities for travel agents to book our content via the Amadeus GDS - in our current critical growth phase, every minute counts, so a smooth integration was paramount for us,” said Mr. Alejandro Gonzalez Espinosa, Managing Director TUI fly Vermarktungs GmbH at TUI fly. “Our travel agency partners can also rest assured that their travellers can pay with their preferred card. We’re eager to continue working with them to bring new savings in this channel.”
“The airline industry has a uniquely complex payment environment. Any improvement demands an in-depth understanding of the processes, players and flows specific to the industry. Our innovation in the distribution channel is just one example of Amadeus Travel Payments’ relentless effort to help airlines increase their sales whilst reducing their total cost of payment,” said Celia Pereiro, head of Travel Payments at Amadeus. “Our global team of travel payment experts will unlock smart payments management for TUI fly, helping the airline reach new customers as it evolves into a competitive scheduled carrier.”
TUI fly sees increasing distribution in the indirect channel as an instrumental component of its business model evolution. To that end, the airline has become IATA BSP certified and implemented eTicketing, enhancing its capabilities in the Amadeus distribution channel. Travel agents working with Amadeus can now book flights with TUI fly and enjoy full back office integration, ensuring easy flight changes and payment processing with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and UATP cards.