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2016 New Year .. so what are you doing?

January 1, 2016


TWA super connieLike many people I like change. It’s healthy. I want to drive change, to be a change agent. I also would like a return to the golden era of service but this time powered by IT not just the good nature of great people.

Great so what?

The Travel Industry is a huge business. But it also is a business full of amateurs. Nothing wrong really with that except that it drives a sentiment of reliance on the tried safe and true. Travel Industry execs are generally a risk averse group. (I can hear howls of protest but it’s true).

What we need is an acknowledgement that there is a need to an overhaul of the infrastructure of the whole industry. Sadly the leaders who should be representing a movement in change particularly in driving improvements in standards seem to be stuck in 2nd gear.

This year is my hope that we will see change coming in several areas.

  1. Fix the PNR – we need a new system for the customer record. It needs to match the changes that have occurred in every other industry. The Travel industry just seems quite content to rest on its laurels as the first ever to have a customer record. Great in the 1950s. Not so great in the 2010s. Keep an eye open for One Order. Kudos to the IATA StB team for evangelizing this. OpenTravel – needs to get on board and start working towards a common framework for a customer record that is safe, secure and shareable. And no – that is not an oxymoron.
  2. Cache – can we please stop this insane amount of cache floating around the industry. We have layers and levels of cache. The evil that the Googleplex has inflicted on the Travel industry with expected instant results has yet to sink into the design of systems. We need trusted sources of true reliable data. Airlines and Hotels take note here – time to step up and start putting some trust into your offers.
  3. Honesty – we really need to have a bit more Truth in our words. Tell it like it is. Across the industry we have fake reviews, manipulated products and well a whole load of whoppers that make Donald Trump look reasonable.
  4. Search – yup still doesn’t work. Please fix this.
  5. Commercial impediments – aka bad contracts. The Travel industry is really bad at how it fails to share information and contribute to a common greater good. I would really like to finger the GDSs for having started the trend to appalling contracts but the more I see – the more I realize that we have a real problem that so many contracts are frankly just bad. The most abused entity in all this is the consumer.
  6. Sharing Economy – yes – this is my nomination for the most abused word in our industry. AirBnB and Uber are not about sharing. They are about leveraging a loop hole that lawmakers are doing a terrible job in acknowledging and handling. Or perhaps we should just open the whole of consumerism to “Sharing”. How about Medical Sharing?

For 2016 – I would really like to see fresh approaches to many issues. I would like to see a more open world of Travel. And most of all I would like to see REAL change.

How about you?

Cheers and here’s to a great 2016


Hattip to for their great images of aircraft

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