Travel Industry

Travelport+ Upgrades and NDC Content: 10 Questions Answered

As the business travel industry evolves with technological advancements like Travelport+ upgrades and NDC content expansion, travel managers and advisors can expect greater efficiency, more options, and enhanced service capabilities.
June 26, 2024
Travelport+ Upgrades and NDC Content: 10 Questions Answered

The business travel space is changing rapidly, with more tools and content for travel managers to enhance travel experiences. Two significant developments leading this change are Christopherson’s upgrade to Travelport+ (one of the first TMCs in North America to do so) and the expansion of New Distribution Capability (NDC) content.

To delve deeper into these changes, we brought together our experts and Travelport’s experts to discuss the latest trends, technological upgrades, and best practices for travel managers regarding this evolving technology.

Q: What is the primary focus of the recent upgrades with Travelport+?

A: Travelport+, a next-gen platform with a simplified, capability-rich, marketplace for travel retailing, is always looking to improve. The recent upgrade to Travelport+ aims to offer a plethora of additional content.

“This includes expanded access to hotel and airline content, ultimately aimed at streamlining processes for travel advisors and providing more options for clients,” explained Dallas Stewart, manager of client consulting services at Christopherson.

This mission aligns with Travelport+’s goal of creating a seamless experience, enabling advisors to manage bookings more effectively and respond swiftly to travelers' needs, especially during disruptions.

Q: How has NDC content integration been progressing with airline partners?

A: New Distribution Capability (NDC) is the new standard for transmitting airline data in real-time, improving both content and the traveler’s experience.

Travelport account director Trevor Fleming shared, “We are currently live with 16 carriers and have a broad list of carriers currently in development."

This continuous integration with airlines like American and United facilitates quicker implementation and broader content access, bringing dynamic pricing and unique offers directly to travel advisors.

Q: What are the key differences between traditional EDIFACT content and NDC content in terms of pricing?

A: For the past 40 years, Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transport (EDIFACT) has been the standard for simplifying communication between trading parties. However, it has its limitations. NDC, while not replacing EDIFACT, allows for more content capabilities.

“With American Airlines, the price differences in the economy cabin have been minimal, about $18 a ticket,” noted Matt Cameron, chief consulting officer at Christopherson.

However, significant differences were noted in the flex fares, particularly in business class, where savings could reach $500 or more. United’s continuous pricing model delivered through NDC has shown price differences of up to $1,800 in business class, while Delta assures no price differences despite focusing on technological upgrades.

Q: How will the new Travelport+ platform enhance travel advisors serviceability, specifically with automated exchanges?

A: Serviceability is key in business travel tech, and the upgrades to Travelport+ are designed with automation in mind.

“Advisors will be able to quickly manage and exchange or refund, showing available options with clear pricing and automatically calculating the cost,” said Ed Gouveia, a client success manager at Travelport.

This automation saves significant time for advisors and will eventually extend to corporate online booking tools, streamlining the entire process and reducing manual intervention.

Q: From an agency perspective, how will these enhancements benefit clients and advisors?

A: The Travelport+ upgrade makes the entire experience easier.

“This is going to be an amazing time-saving tool for our advisors and provide immediate pricing for exchanges to our travelers,” said Angela Cain, vice president of operations at Christopherson.

The improved content within TravelPort+ allows advisors to offer comprehensive consultation without leaving the booking platform, eliminating non-standard workflows and enhancing overall service efficiency.

Q: How will broader hotel content integration affect travel policies and booking practices?

A: The more travel options, the better, across the board.

“We are about to go live with hotel content, increasing our bookable properties from about 160,000 to 2 million,” said Gouveia.

This expanded hotel content offers more options and requires careful consideration of travel policies, especially regarding prepaid rates and cancellation policies.

Cameron added that this integration enhances risk management by providing geo-coordinates for all hotel locations, improving travel alert accuracy and traveler safety.

Q: What are the best practices for integrating new content into existing travel programs?

A: Expanded content offers opportunities for cost savings and flexibility, but it’s crucial to balance these benefits with existing negotiated rates and policy requirements.

“Have a conversation with your account manager to understand the impacts on your travel policy and ensure you’re not undermining your program,” Cameron advised.

Jeanine Eissler, Christopherson’s vice president of operations systems and support also emphasized the importance of transparency and review, noting that expanded options might necessitate adjustments to travel policies to maximize benefits while maintaining control over expenditures.

Q: Are there any challenges or considerations that clients should be aware of with these new integrations?

A: Eissler highlighted the need for clear communication and travel policy adjustments.

“You may want to rethink how you handle your hotel content, especially with variations in cancellation policies and prepaid rates,” she suggested.

Ensuring all options align with the client’s travel needs and preferences will be crucial for optimizing the use of new content.

Q: What is the roadmap for the upgrades, and when can clients expect full implementation?

A: Travelport+ will see ongoing NDC content additions, with hotel content expected by Q4 2024. Concur will integrate hotel content in Q3, followed by additional air and car content in Q4. Deem will roll out air and car content in Q3, with hotel content in Q4.

Q: How will the Travelport+ upgrade impact the service and support provided by Christopherson?

A: The move to Travelport+ will enhance service capabilities and make the process more efficient for our travel advisors. Staying informed and working closely with account managers will be crucial for optimizing travel programs and reaping the full benefits as they continue to evolve.

“We’re excited about bringing this into our program and having better control and visibility over all bookings,” Cain explained.

This transition is expected to streamline operations, improve advisor efficiency, and provide more robust support to travelers, particularly during disruptions.


As the business travel industry evolves with technological advancements like TravelPort+ upgrades and NDC content expansion, travel managers and advisors can expect greater efficiency, more options, and enhanced service capabilities. 

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