TRAVELPORT AGENCIES: PROCESS IS CONFUSING, TIME-CONSUMING
Survey: Ancillary fees burdensome
By Johanna Jainchill
G Adventures woos
Amadeus created the first interline
Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD), which facilitates the
payment and delivery of ancillary
services across airline partnerships and alliances. The launch
customers were Finnair and
Interline EMD processing gives
agents the capability of booking ancillary services for multiple
segments of interline and intra-alliance itineraries. Amadeus said
that up to 20% of its air bookings
involve interline partnerships.
San Francisco port
to get new terminal
The San Francisco Port Commission voted to begin construction
of a 88,000-square-foot cruise terminal and a 2.2-acre public park,
a $92 million project that is to be
completed in 2014. The Pier 27
James R. Herman International
Cruise Terminal will serve as the
primary cruise ship terminal, while
an existing facility at Pier 35 will be
used as a secondary terminal if
two cruise ships are in port at the
The site is named for the late
James Herman, a former port
The vast majority of travel agencies would be
more interested in selling and booking ancillary
products for their clients if the process to do so
were more efficient, a recent survey of Travelport
The results of Travelport’s global airline merchandising survey found that
62% of agencies around the
world say booking ancillaries is
confusing because every airline
is “different,” while 58% say it
generates more work for them
and affects productivity.
When asked how much time
booking optional services adds
to booking an air ticket, the average response
across all regions was 29%.
Most agencies, 77%, said they already offer ancillaries to at least some of their clients; 32% of
agents said they book the products and services
for them, either via the airline websites, the phone
or, if possible, via the GDS.
In the Americas, 30% of agents said they provide some of these services to clients but referred
clients to the airlines for certain others.
In Asia, Europe and the Middle East, agents are
more likely to book the services for their clients
all the time.
more work, 58% of
Canadian operator G Adventures,
traditionally an active travel brand
for younger travelers, is pushing
into the 50-plus market by partnering with AARP.
In addition to offering AARP
discounts on selected tours, the
operator is expanding its comfort
category of tours with G-Plus,
a lineup of more than 150 soft
adventure-style trips that include
transfers, breakfasts, enhanced
transportation and accommodations with upgraded amenities.
United to add
United plans to launch daily, nonstop service to Honolulu from its
Washington Dulles hub on June 7
using 767 aircraft, three days after
Hawaiian Airlines’ planned entry
into the New York market.
PART OF PARENT’S GLOBAL REBRANDING
Access America renamed Allianz Travel
to prefer Signature
By Johanna Jainchill
Signature Travel Network agreed
to become the sole preferred seller of the Great American Steamboat Co., the Memphis firm that
is relaunching the 436-passenger
American Queen on the Missis-
Hospitality Properties Trust, a real
estate investment trust based in
Newton, Mass., closed on its acquisition of Sonesta International
Hotels, a transaction valued at
$174 million. Sonesta manages
and franchises hotels in the U.S.,
South America and Egypt.
Hospitality Properties Trust
owns some 290 properties in the
U.S. and Canada, which are managed and branded by various operators, including Marriott, InterContinental, Hyatt and Carlson.
Travel insurance provider Access America will be
renamed Allianz Travel Insurance, as part of its
parent company’s global rebranding, which is expected to be completed in late 2012.
Access is a subsidiary of Mondial Assistance
USA, which is being renamed Allianz Global Assistance after German parent company Allianz, the
world’s 20th-largest public company,
according to Forbes.
With both Mondial and Access taking the new names, all of the Allianz
travel insurance companies will share
Allianz Global Assistance insured
13 million people in 2011, mostly with
travel insurance and event ticket-pro-tection plans.
The company said that it is the nation’s largest travel insurance and assistance company.
Beth Godlin, recently promoted to president
and CEO of Allianz Global Assistance, said that
the global strength of the Allianz brand would be
“quite important to people seeking to either part-
ner with insurance companies or buy insurance
She also said, “Having a global brand that
is the same in 28 countries allows us to really
capitalize and better explain to our customer the
background that we have and the group we be-
Allianz said that recognition of its brand has
been growing among Americans. The insurer
launched a national brand-awareness campaign
in 2010 to highlight core areas of all of its busi-
nesses in the U.S.
Godlin said that Access America products
“won’t change at all,” except in name.
“We are the same management, the same products, the same technology,” she said. “What’s most
important is that people know we are
taking on our parent company’s brand,
but that does not change who we are.
All that’s changing is our name.”
Allianz sells it insurance products al-
most exclusively through suppliers and
Godlin said the company doubled its
business twice in the last decade and attributed the growth to the introduction
of technology solutions that make selling and managing the products easier
and to the opening of new channels of
distribution for travel insurance.
In addition, she said, there is more awareness
of travel insurance products.
“Starting in 2010, the number of what the industry calls catastrophic events that are created
by weather and other types of issues really did
increase substantially,” she said.
Along with Godlin’s recent promotion, Jonathan Ansell, the former president and CEO of the
U.S. and the Americas zone, will take on the role
President and CEO
The American Queen.
sippi in April. The company and
Signature will develop sales and
marketing initiatives that include
cooperative marketing and travel
headed for Jakarta
The Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans.
Hilton signed a management
agreement with an Indonesian
company to operate a 261-room
hotel in Jakarta under its DoubleTree brand. Opening in 2014, the
Double Tree by Hilton Jakarta-Di-ponegoro will offer all-day dining,
a business center, a spa and an