Finnair went live with the Amadeus electronic miscellaneous document, the fulfillment solution that will allow airlines and travel agencies to sell and track the usage of ancillary charges, on its website.
Such charges may be linked to the flight coupon, such as for excess baggage and seat selection, or standalone charges such as lounge access and rebooking fees.
Finnair's EMD capability will be extended to Amadeus travel agencies in Europe in September following a pilot with agents in the Finnish market.
Robert Buckman, director of airline distribution strategy for Amadeus North America, said the EMD cannot be implemented for agencies in the U.S. until ARC is ready. ARC has targeted late third quarter for the rollout.
By the end of 2010, EMD capability will be extended to support interlining between airlines hosted on the Amadeus EMD server.
The server will be fully integrated with the Amadeus Altea Customer Management Solution, but it is also designed to be fully compatible with third-party reservations, inventory and departure control systems to enable airlines to manage the sale and delivery of ancillary services throughout the customer life cycle, from booking to check-in to after-sales service.
Buckman said the EMD is "much more than an electronic MCO." It can link itself to the flight and track and associate various items, he said.
For example, Buckman said, a customer might buy a seat with extra legroom, and she has a triple connection. The EMD will track and manage the delivery of the service.
If an extra-legroom seat is no longer available for one of the legs, the EMD acts as a record for the carrier to prorate or refund the charge.
Meanwhile, Corsairfly, a French carrier, began a pilot of another product of Amadeus Ancillary Services that will enable the airline to offer travelers the option of booking additional baggage allowance.
Corsairfly files the fees for these services via ATPCO, which supplies fare data to all the major air fare pricing engines that reserve and ticket air travel.
Amadeus has developed a unique graphic catalogue display to enable travel agencies to easily view real time airline's services offering. This catalogue automatically calculates the total price of all selected services and triggers the booking in one click.
Meanwhile, Sabre launched the first phase of EMD capability with Avior Airlines, a low-cost carrier in Venezuela that is using the EMD component as part of the broader Sabre merchandising platform.
Sabre's EMD solution will also enable the sale of ancillary services for the SabreSonic Customer Sales and Service solution (an internal reservations, inventory and departure control system for airlines) and the Sabre Travel Network GDS.
Other Sabre-hosted airlines will begin using the first phase of EMD capabilities in the coming months. The broader launch of merchandising capabilities via the GDS will occur later this year.