Pulling from airlines, ARC, IATA, news sites and other sources, the tracker provides deadlines and program status info to help corporate travel programs adapt to airline distribution and retailing changes.
Traxo chief product and information officer Matt Griffin told The Company Dime the new American Airlines distribution program was a “wake-up call.” He said that existing resources for understanding the changes with all airlines did not “speak to” corporate travel managers and their concerns.
A majority of 277 travel managers responding to an April survey by the Global Business Travel Association said some airlines were rolling out NDC programs “too quickly,” and 80 percent said they needed more information or education.
About 82 percent of 169 respondents in North America said they needed more info or education, whereas 71 percent of 55 Europe-based respondents said the same.
Changes in NDC are challenging to track. Griffin said Traxo’s concern was that buyers would miss what’s new and “lose the opportunity to plan.”
Every last bit of NDC info out there won’t make it to the site. For example, a new airline rollout in a small country might not rate. Traxo encourages its staff to post to an internal Slack group whenever they see a new development. “Then we evaluate it,” said Griffin. “Should we have it? Do we already have it?”
He said that posting data on differentials between “NDC fares” and “EDIFACT fares” is under consideration. Traxo’s core business is about capturing bookings made outside traditional channels. It’s well-positioned to see what buyers are missing.
“We do think there will be multiple months before we have enough data to understand that,” said Griffin. “And your ability to react will be months after the event occurs. That is on our list of ideas. A big emphasis on this site is around what will happen in the near future and to see what has happened since a rollout.”
Traxo did not design the NDC Tracker to be a money-maker.
“Branding is minimal,” said Griffin. “We’re trying to make it an industry resource. We thought about whether another partner would be interested in participating as well, maybe be a contributor. What’s in it for us? Buyers are concerned that travelers would not have access to fares; that’s what we’re trying to tap into. We believe the concern is relative to how this will disrupt someone’s buying experience when they’re just trying to get to their destination and go to work. So it’s just another representation of our emphasis on full visibility.”
Users of NDC Tracker can subscribe to ad-hoc alerts.