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StB Think Tank White Paper



Making the industry easier to do business with for both customers and partners: the 3rd edition of the StB White Paper details the transformation and explorations currently taking place in the industry.

The StB program has been articulating the vision and goals for tomorrow’s passenger since the program was re-launched in 2011. Each goal had been presented with a vision of the industry and programs of work either already launched or to be developed by IATA.

Goal 1 – Airline Products

Airline Products transformation is well underway with two programs in progress currently addressing this area.   

  • e-Services to facilitate the fulfilment, tracking and accounting of ancillary sales through the IATA Billing and Settlement Plans (BSPs).
  • New Distribution Capability (NDC): the industry initiative to develop an  XML-based language standard for communications between airlines and travel agents.

Goal 2 – Passenger Data

Collection and transmission of passenger data is one of the key industry challenges in a customer’s journey. IATA developed a program of work to set a vision and consider a scenario of a shift of data responsibility from airlines to the passenger.

Given the complexity of an initiative that aims to align different industry stakeholder’s views, a sub-Group comprised of airlines, governments and industry suppliers was formed. This group is expected to develop a new approach regarding passenger data with clear benefits for all stakeholders in 2014.

Goal 3 – Real time Interaction

Real time interaction was articulated around two main initiatives:

  • Customer Contact Information: The industry and the customer need to interact at anytime and anywhere, especially in the case of irregular operations. The program of work is to develop standards and recommended practices for the proactive passenger notification. IATA submitted proposals for revision of existing Resolutions and Recommended Practices that were adopted during the Passenger Agency and Services Conferences in October 2013. IATA is working to launch the Customer Contact Information as industry project in 2014.
  • Airport Wi-Fi: IATA is working closely with ACI to make Wi-Fi connectivity at airports more widely available around the world in order to give the option to the passenger to receive real-time flight information, updates, ability to re-book.

Goal 4 – Hassle Free

This is the most mature area of the StB Program with the following existing projects: Fast Travel, Passenger Facilitation and Checkpoint of the Future. In addition, the StB Think Tank identified the following as areas to be explored by IATA:

  • Check-out/ Automated Check-in by eliminating the need to check-in and moving further processes off the airport. IATA is working on the business case recommendations and strategy for launching the Automated Check-in project as part of Fast Travel and will develop proposals for industry standards and recommended practices.
  • Fast and Simple Common Bag Drop: Fast Travel is driving implementation of kiosk self-tagging and home printing bag tags while the InBag poject is developing standards for permanent bag tags. Fast Travel has developed business requirements to develop web services interface for Common Use Self-Service Bag Drop to drive global adoption.
  • Single Token/ Biometrics: Using a single token for all elements of a journey would significantly streamline and simplify the travel process. IATA has established a biometrics multi-disciplinary working group to explore a single token approach throughout the end to end passenger process.

Goal 5 - Seamless End-to-End Journey

The “Intermodality Issues Checklist” has been published to provide guidelines for bilateral discussions between air and rail companies to build intermodal products and services in a standard way. IATA is part of a consortium appointed by the European Commission to develop and validate a model for a multimodal pan-European passenger transport information and booking system.

A global understanding of terms and references is expected to be reached through the Industry Data Model which aims to enable automated model-driven message specifications. Users will be able to use, extend and adapt the definitions contained in the model to develop new standards or develop bilateral data exchanges using industry standards as the base.

Access StB White Paper (pdf) to learn more about the explorations underway.


Additional information

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