Why NDC is the start of a big change

In October 2018 we wrote a blog on NDC – what it was and how Meon Valley Travel was involved in pioneering this technology.

New Distribution Capability (NDC) is the future of not just travel tech, but how we all could live in the future… imagine this scenario for a moment…

You wake up to the alarm on your phone. You touch the screen to acknowledge you are up and departing in 30 minutes – the airline gets notified you intend to travel and are running on time.

You go downstairs and make a coffee. Your fridge tracks how much milk you’re using and orders you a new one when it gets below a certain point, but today, it knows you are going away, so suspends ordering more until you are back.

As you leave your house the heating and hot water adjust and your security kicks in with your lights set to come on and off automatically because both systems know you are going away.

In your car, your GPS knows where you’re going and which terminal, your eta is updated in the airline system so they know you are still running on time.

Your GPS notices you are low on petrol and requests prices from petrol stations on your route so you can decide which to use. You have a Costa account and one of the petrol stations has a Costa shop. They personalise their offer to compete with other petrol stations and offer you a free coffee as well as a good price for petrol.

You run into some traffic and your GPS knows you are now behind schedule. It notifies the airline of your eta and offers you the option to change to a closer car park so you don’t miss your flight.

This describes the Internet of Things (IOT) in action and is what is going to be enabled by NDC and XML.

Sounds pretty futuristic, doesn’t it? 20 years ago, so did the internet. The key is that the start point for all of this is you booking a flight. By developing NDC and enabling airlines to connect data about you with the price they offer will drive competition and more importantly, innovation. The result is a whole new customer journey, where the customer is the heart of determining the price – not the seat. Airlines will need to use the data you allow them access to, to find a way of getting you to choose them. It will allow them to see what matters to you, what you value when you travel and what other services you use that they could add in to convince you to travel with them. An example of this might be that they use your Netflix account to see what kind of movies you like so they can gift you a Netflix movie before your next flight to download and watch when you travel. Or they could start making the movies available in the in-flight entertainment totally bespoke to you, loaded with films, box sets and music they know you like.

The key to all of this is that whether you want to give airlines access to your information is totally up to you. Whether you want to tie your day together through your phone and your cars GPS will be totally up to you. These advances in technology give choice and the opportunity to get all the people who want to sell you something to compete harder. Let’s say that you are the director of a company with 50 employees who travel every week. Your travel budget runs into the hundreds of thousands but you don’t travel much yourself. Currently, airlines won’t know to court you when you travel. Unless you are one of the airlines top corporate accounts, your loyalty status is based on your travel, no other factors.  In an NDC world, if you choose to share certain information with the airlines to demonstrate your influence, there will be a pipeline for you to do so.

As well as competing on price, this enriched information enables airlines to personalise your experience as well. Imagine if you were flying to Paris tomorrow and the forecast is rain. They know the hotel you’re staying at and the transfer company so they arrange for an umbrella to be waiting for you and to pick you up from the covered arrivals point, not the uncovered one.


Why is it important that Meon is pioneering this technology?

As Bill Shankly said, if you are first you are first, if you are second, you are nothing. Meon is pioneering this technology and as an early adopter, we are ready to use it to our customers’ benefit when the time comes.

We are proud that Meon Valley Travel continues to be at the forefront of travel technology and innovation, bringing our customers access to the best fares first.