Farelogix unveiled FLX Commando, a patent-pending agency reservations tool that simulates cryptic GDS command-line functions, and E-FLX, described as the travel industry's first "hub" for issuing, storing, managing and reporting Electronic Miscellaneous Documents.
Farelogix has been busy: The new product announcements came on the heels of the debut of Project Hawkeye, Farelogix' open-source, Web-based travel management point-of-sale application whose source code is now available for free public download from the company's Web site. Farelogix announced its intention to make the source code available to developers last November. It hit its target date of March 26.
By dawn that day, "six people had already downloaded it," Jim Davidson, chief executive officer of Farelogix, said, and interested has not abated. Hawkeye was built on.NET and C# and can be used as an off-the-shelf agent desktop.
It connects with several proprietary front ends, Davidson said, but no single product meets everyone's needs. Rather than build a new front end itself, the company decided to allow developers to download the source code and customize it to fit their particular business, preferences or workflow needs.
The system supports the basics: air shopping, booking, ticketing, exchanges and refunds. It also supports airline merchandising and unbundled fares. For example, it connects with Air Canada's AC2U API and can display the carrier's fare families and "selling by attributes" features. Hawkeye also includes a user interface for profile management and trip templates.
FLX Commando is a travel agency user interface that allows agents to use the GDS cryptic commands with which they are most comfortable while accessing multiple sources of content.
Commando is designed for agents who aren't ready to make the leap to a Web-based point of sale but still want access to multiple sources of content. It provides access to all Farelogix Content Adapters, fully integrated ticketing, a "super-PNR" and the back-office reporting that is part of the Farelogix FLX platform.
It also includes some graphical elements, such as clear, easy-to-decipher seat maps that are accessed via direct connections with airlines. Davidson revealed that Commando is powering Command Pro, an agency desktop offered by LUTE Technologies, a Swiss company.
Command Pro enables German agents to use Amadeus GDS commands to book Lufthansa flights. The booking, however, is created in the Sabre GDS. Lufthansa has an agreement with Sabre and Travelport that protects their subscribers from its Preferred Fares Program. It does not have a deal with Amadeus, the dominant GDS in Germany, so bookings of Germany-originating Lufthansa flights in that system incur a €4.90 plus VAT surcharge.
The E-FLX EMD Hub is the subject of a pilot program with two U.S. airlines and is expected to be released to market later this summer. An Electronic Miscellaneous Document functions much like a ticket coupon but is used for the sale of optional services.
E-FLX EMD is "a sort of e-ticket engine for ancillary services," Davidson said. It will enable a new range of customized services, he said. For example, if a "platinum" customer is flying in mid-afternoon, a slow time for American's Admirals Clubs, American might choose to offer her a big discount on a one-day club pass. If, however, she has a 6 p.m. flight -- peak time for the clubs -- a pass would not be offered.
In another example, an outbound customer might be checking a bag full of presents for his family. On his return flight, he won't need to check a bag. E-FLX can apply the baggage fee to the outbound flight but not the return. The system will allow airlines to sell services right up to the point of departure. "Merchandising can't just happen at the point of sale," Davidson said. "This will liberate the way airlines sell additional services." The hub translates between Edifact and XML, so airlines can connect to it through technology they already have in place.
It will manage the transformation of EMD transactions into any existing format currently supported by the airline.-