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.

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.
IATA strives to gain control of its message, NDC critics still unhappy 
News from Travel Technology Update: IATA has taken another stab at quelling the controversy over its New Distribution Capability (NDC), but it increasingly appears to be engaged in a game of “whack-a-mole”: Just as it addresses one set of objections, another critic pops up and repeats them.
Blogs & Commentary
Nov 24, 2015

American History

As American Airlines rolls out aircraft in the Heritage series, I am fascinated by all the AA predecessors, their logos and paint over the years....More
Nov 23, 2015

Was the TAM merger a mistake for LAN? 3

LATAM is a bet on the long-term future of Latin American commercial aviation....More
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