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Amadeus unveils industry-first solution allowing airlines to better manage delayed and cancelled flights

Imagine a world where when a flight is disrupted a traveller no longer has to pick up the telephone to call their airline, or stand in line at the airport to understand what to do next. Instead, imagine passengers could be empowered to overcome the frustration and stress of flight disruption in one single tap of a smartphone or tablet, where multiple alternative travel options are offered automatically via personalized and bespoke recommendations to travellers’ smart devices in real-time.

At the same time imagine a world where airlines could then make personalized merchandising offers to travellers before, during and after their re-booked trip at times of disruption, such as free hotel or cabin upgrades, or even additional relevant paid services such as use of a spa at the airport. Imagine also that airlines are able to automate the entire disruption management process from end to end, managing everything from tickets to EMDs through to inventory updates, new boarding passes and even baggage transfer to the new flight,  delivering huge potential productivity savings, improved loyalty and brand advocacy, and costs optimization in turn.

This world becomes a reality for both travellers and airlines today as Amadeus unveils the industry’s first mobile solution for handling flight disruptions based on personalized and intelligent re-accommodation options, in order to better manage the age-old problem of delayed and cancelled flights.

Amadeus Personal Disruption Companion, which will be available on a white label basis beginning in 2015, is unique to the market in that it takes a wholly customer-centric approach to managing flight disruptions and puts the traveller firmly in control when flights are delayed or cancelled. It works by understanding and analysing who is travelling and to where, combining this information with preferences such as language and choice of contact. This information is then fully personalized using each traveller’s specific journey and ancillary purchase history as well as other personal preferences both stated and learned.

Launched in partnership with TAM Airlines, the Brazilian national airline and part of the LATAM Airlines group, Amadeus Personal Disruption Companion was presented for the first time at PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit, where the solution was runner-up in the Established Companies awards. Julia Sattel, SVP, Airline IT, Amadeus IT Group says: “We believe that the market opportunity for the industry to deliver more effective disruption management is huge. Indeed, U.S airlines alone lost $7.2 billion as a result of disruption in 2012 whilst IATA research suggests that airlines who move faster from crisis to recovery could save $455 million[1] every year just in re-booking costs. When things go wrong passengers want to see automated and intelligent re-accommodation options and offers that are personalized and bespoke to their unique needs”.

Sattel continues: “Instead of taking an operations-centric approach to re-accommodating travellers, we advocate re-thinking entirely how disruption is handled with the customer in mind – rather than shifting travellers from a cancelled flight to another, we should understand and respond to how the delay impacts that person and their unique reason for traveling We believe that as an industry there is a great opportunity here to deliver a better travel experience as part of an intelligent and dynamic global travel ecosystem which places at its very heart the ever-evolving 21st Century traveller”.

Daniel Limena, E-Commerce Projects & Operations Manager, TAM Airlines says: “We are excited to be working with Amadeus to develop a solution which will give passengers peace of mind that any disruption will be managed with an efficient, personalized approach. We expect this innovation to lower costs associated with disruption, provide a faster and more reliable response to our customers and ultimately, when things are really challenging, deliver a brand experience we can be truly proud of.”

The launch of Amadeus Personal Disruption Companion follows the 2013 white paper commissioned by Amadeus and written by Norm Rose examining disruption management. According to ‘Passengers-first: re-thinking irregular operations’, 33% of passengers cite insufficient information about what is happening as the number one cause of frustration at times of disruption, followed  by 18% of passengers complaining about being given conflicting communication.

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