Michele McDonald


Michele McDonald is editor and publisher of Travel Technology Update, an industry newsletter read by executives of online travel companies, industry suppliers, global distribution systems, investment analysts and technology companies involved in electronic travel distribution. She is a contributing writer for Air Transport World and writes frequently on distribution and technology issues. She has covered the travel industry for more than 25 years, with emphasis on the airline industry, technology and distribution. Previously, she was editor of Travel Distribution Report and managing editor of Travel Weekly.

Airlines and GDSs at loggerheads over full-content agreements 
Airlines want more power over pricing, but global distribution systems stick to the status quo. Technology or regulator intervention could lead to changes.
Bookings Battle 
It has become a ritual: Every few years, usually when global distribution system (GDS) contracts are up for renegotiation, the airlines challenge the distribution status quo and try to loosen the hold that GDS companies have had on airline distribution. The animosity is rooted in the days when GDS companies routinely hiked segment fees by 9% or 10% every year, offering nothing new in exchange.
Kit & Kabundle 
Ancillary revenues have grown exponentially, although the numbers are hard to pin down because of the varying definitions.
Cloud Proud 
The ability to work anywhere on any device has huge implications for the airline industry, from launching new routes to making the best use of a crew’s time to reacting to a disaster.
Meeting of Minds 
There is peace, if not necessarily love, among the factions that have spent the last two years warring over IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC), which aims to provide a framework for facilitating airline merchandising through third-party distributors.
A look back at 2013: A controversy fizzles; Ryanair’s CEO is the new Mr. Nice Guy 
News from Travel Technology Update: One of the top stories of the year did a disappearing act as 2013 wound down.
Travelport readies third piece of merchandising platform 
News from Travel Technology Update: Air New Zealand introduced Skycouch, an unusual product that allows passengers to purchase a row of three seats in the economy cabin and turn it into a bed or play area on long-haul flights, more than two years ago, but the only place the carrier has been able to sell it is on its website.
Three GDS companies introduce significant new products, features 
News from Travel Technology Update: The three Western GDS companies—Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport—are introducing new functionality and features on the eve of the PhoCusWright Conference in Hollywood, Fla.
NDC: Airlines, agents, GDS companies look at the issues 
News from Travel Technology Update: For all the drama surrounding IATA’s New Distribution Capability, it is only a technical standard that provides “just the basis for developers to do the hard work,” Gary Doernhoefer, a consultant and former general counsel to IATA, said.
A question of loyalty 
There’s nothing cheap about loyalty,” the George Clooney character says in “Up in the Air,” a film about a dedicated mileage junkie. Or is there?
Travel managers, TMC execs reject call for regulation of ancillary product sales 
News from Travel Technology Update: Some US top travel management have rejected the idea that the Department of Transportation (DOT) should regulate the distribution of airlines’ ancillary products and services.
Farelogix adds ‘dynamic bundling’ to its FLX Merchandise product 
News from Travel Technology Update: Farelogix has introduced dynamic bundling technology that enables airlines to create bundles of services and offer them to customers based on a variety of criteria.
Study urges customer-centric view of irregular operations 
News from Travel Technology Update: Airlines have become adept at using technology to re-accommodate passengers whose flights are disrupted.
In ‘virtual merger,’ Expedia to provide Travelocity technology, product & service 
News from Travel Technology Update: In one of the more bizarre deals struck since the birth of the online travel industry, Travelocity Global and Expedia have signed a strategic marketing agreement whereby Expedia will provide its technology, inventory and customer service to Travelocity’s US and Canadian websites.
IATA: Time to act on Resolution 787 
IATA told the US Department of Transportation (DOT) it is “time to act” on its request for approval of Resolution 787, which created the foundation for its New Distribution Capability.
Blogs & Commentary
Dec 12, 2017

Customer service lessons for British Airways, Heathrow and all airlines

A final update on my journey out of the London Heathrow chaos, along with a few takeaways that the incident made me think about, not just for the airline and airport directly involved, but for the wider industry....More
Dec 11, 2017

Should movie theaters disclose popcorn prices ‘up front’?

With DOT dropping proposed rules that would have required airlines to disclose bag fees 'up front,' there is a lot of finger wagging about 'hidden' airline fees....More
Dec 10, 2017

British Airways, Heathrow & UK Border Force mess up big time

It's 3am, London time, Monday and I'm sitting on the floor of Heathrow Terminal 5....More
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