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Customer spotlight: Gordian Software uses Baggage Calculator to get airlines, agencies, and travelers on the same page

gordian logo on blue background of a person standing with luggage

Even the most established companies can find it challenging to implement new technologies. Despite the best intentions and planning, the sheer number of technologies, standards, and ecosystem providers that must be considered and aligned can be daunting. That’s where startups like Gordian Software and industry standardization leaders like ATPCO come in—blasting through those obstacles.

Baggage allowance and charges are an especially knotty problem

It’s often difficult for consumers to determine what baggage allowance, excess charges, embargoes, or special equipment fees apply on their journey.  Depending on the itinerary and the geographic regions you’re traversing, different airline and governmental policies could apply to the trip. How do you know which one to follow?  Which airline baggage policy should be applied?

No one likes to be surprised at the airport check-in counter with unplanned baggage charges.  When it happens, the consumer might blame the online travel agency (OTA) or the travel management company (TMC), or the airline itself, who also bears the burden of unhappy travelers now holding up lines at the check-in counter.  It’s a bad situation for everyone when the experience turns sour. 

A sharp understanding of the data cuts through the knots

In 2011, ATPCO introduced its line of commercially available Baggage Calculator solutions to help provide the industry a standard. We structured the data and the governing rules and figured out which charges should apply in any situation. Our web service API is used in mobile devices, airport kiosks, and both direct and indirect seller websites. Just send a few itinerary details to the service, and we return the allowance and charges for the trip, based on the correct airline whose rules apply.

While our original reasoning was airline focused, we quickly realized that a solution that makes it easy to calculate baggage allowance and charges had huge benefits for everyone involved. Over the last eight years, our Baggage Calculator has been serving airlines, OTAs, TMCs, white-label tech providers, and start-ups alike.

Startups are solving the puzzles

Enter our newest customer, Gordian Software, Inc.

Based in the San Francisco area, Gordian saw the problems airlines were having with trying to sell ancillaries via travel agents. Because of the complexity of baggage information alone, Gordian sought to provide accurate and consistent information to channel partners and end-users at any stage of the traveler journey.

Initially Gordian collaborated with Bridge Labs, our innovation hub. They tested our Baggage Calculator and were immediately impressed with its integration simplicity because it uses NDC standard messaging. These standards made it easier for Gordian to connect to a broad spectrum of baggage policy data from more than 430 airlines worldwide.

Gordian provided a featured speaker at our recent 2018 Global Conference, Elevate, and are now the newest customer to join our Integrated Baggage Calculator web service community.

The challenge of integrating ancillary offers into existing OTA channels has traditionally been considered complex and cost prohibitive.  What we like about Gordian is that they manage the complexity and present a simple, compelling integration model into an OTA channel via a plug-and-play widget framework.  This radical new approach was of particular interest to ATPCO and the Bridge Labs team, whose focus is to simplify complexity and provide retailing tools to fuel travel. Gordian proves that what was considered a complex challenge can now be simplified.

Everybody wins

This is a win-win story for airlines, indirect sellers of travel, ATPCO, technology providers that handle all the complexities, and—most of all—the travelers themselves.  We welcome Gordian and all other current and potential customers who share our vision to provide simple and accurate information via smart connections of all content in all channels.

Ready to be the next one to explore new territory in airline retailing? Contact us today and be sure to check out the full list of ATPCO customers

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Doug Sharpe

About Doug Sharpe

A transformational leader and advocate for simplicity, Doug Sharpe has over 20 years of experience in air travel, spanning technology, product, marketing, business development and sales.

He has held many industry leadership roles over the course of his career, including diverse account roles across ATPCO’s community of global airlines and systems/sales channels.

In his most recent post as Commercial Director over ATPCO’s Pricing Portfolio, he led the company’s market and positioning strategy over their suite of airline pricing and fare management products. Doug is an avid traveler and musician with roots on both the east and west coasts.