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Amadeus unveils industry-first solution allowing airlines to better manage delayed and cancelled flights

TAM Airlines confirmed as launch partner airline for new solution, which will deploy intelligent and personalized re-accommodation options to enable travelers to enjoy an improved travel experience whilst offering airlines the chance to save costs and more effectively manage passengers.

MADRID, SPAIN – Imagine a world where when a flight is disrupted a traveler no longer has to pick up the telephone to call their airline, or stand in line at the airport to understand what to do next. Instead, imagine passengers could be empowered to overcome the frustration and stress of flight disruption in one single tap of a smartphone or tablet, where multiple alternative travel options are offered automatically via personalized and bespoke recommendations to travelers’ smart devices in real-time.

At the same time imagine a world where airlines could then make personalized merchandizing offers to travelers before, during and after their re-booked trip at times of disruption, such as free hotel or cabin upgrades, or even additional relevant paid services such as use of a spa at the airport. Imagine also that airlines are able to automate the entire disruption management process from end to end, managing everything from tickets to EMDs through to inventory updates, new boarding passes and even baggage transfer to the new flight, delivering huge potential productivity savings, improved loyalty and brand advocacy, and costs optimization in turn.

This world becomes a reality for both travelers and airlines today as Amadeus unveils the industry’s first mobile solution for handling flight disruptions based on personalized and intelligent re-accommodation options, in order to better manage the age-old problem of delayed and cancelled flights.

Amadeus Personal Disruption Companion, which will be available on a white label basis beginning in 2015, is unique to the market in that it takes a wholly customer-centric approach to managing flight disruptions and puts the traveler firmly in control when flights are delayed or cancelled. It works by understanding and analyzing who is traveling and to where, combining this information with preferences such as language and choice of contact. This information is then fully personalized using each traveler’s specific journey and ancillary purchase history as well as other personal preferences both stated and learned.

Launched in partnership with TAM Airlines, the Brazilian national airline and part of the LATAM Airlines group, Amadeus Personal Disruption Companion was presented for the first time at PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit, where the solution was runner-up in the Established Companies awards.

“We believe that the market opportunity for the industry to deliver more effective disruption management is huge,” said Julia Sattel, SVP, Airline IT, Amadeus IT Group.  “Indeed, U.S airlines alone lost $7.2 billion as a result of disruption in 2012 whilst IATA research suggests that airlines who move faster from crisis to recovery could save $455 million every year just in re-booking costs. When things go wrong passengers want to see automated and intelligent re-accommodation options and offers that are personalized and bespoke to their unique needs.”

“Instead of taking an operations-centric approach to re-accommodating travelers, we advocate re-thinking entirely how disruption is handled with the customer in mind – rather than shifting travelers from a cancelled flight to another, we should understand and respond to how the delay impacts that person and their unique reason for traveling. We believe that as an industry there is a great opportunity here to deliver a better travel experience as part of an intelligent and dynamic global travel ecosystem which places at its very heart the ever-evolving 21st Century traveler,” continued Sattel.

“We are excited to be working with Amadeus to develop a solution which will give passengers peace of mind that any disruption will be managed with an efficient, personalized approach,” said Daniel Limena, E-Commerce Projects & Operations Manager, TAM Airlines. “We expect this innovation to lower costs associated with disruption, provide a faster and more reliable response to our customers and ultimately, when things are really challenging, deliver a brand experience we can be truly proud of.”

The launch of Amadeus Personal Disruption Companion follows the 2013 white paper commissioned by Amadeus and written by Norm Rose examining disruption management. According to ‘Passengers-first: re-thinking irregular operations’, 33% of passengers cite insufficient information about what is happening as the number one cause of frustration at times of disruption, followed by 18% of passengers complaining about being given conflicting communication.

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