In an industry first, British Airways is teaming up with Skyscanner to trial a new way to help customers make more informed decisions about the airline they’re flying with when they book with the airline via a travel search engine.
The trial will see British Airways become the first global airline to offer tickets using the New Distribution Capability standard, an International Air Transport Association initiative that offers customers a more informative and flexible choice when booking airline tickets.
Skyscanner is the first travel meta-search engine with the capacity to display and sell the tickets directly.
This new solution will enable customers to browse elements such as cabin details, baggage allowance and upgrade options.
At this stage, it will be available to customers using smartphones in the UK and through all devices in France, Germany and Switzerland.
Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: “This partnership with Skyscanner will improve the experience for customers booking flights through travel search engines and they will be able to view more information about their flight from cabin choice to aircraft type.
“We all know consumers are more sophisticated and demand a more seamless experience, and this initiative lets us deliver that while still maintaining a direct relationship between the customer and British Airways.
“We look forward to seeing how this trial progresses.”
Initially, the move will only apply to British Airways ticket sales via Skyscanner’s facilitated booking engine, but in the future the airline is aiming to offer customers the ability to buy the full range of ancillary options, such as allocated seating and additional baggage through the travel search site.
Skyscanner’s decision to choose NDC positions it as a global distribution point for advanced ticket and ancillary bookings.