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A major decision you are faced with when starting a new transportation company, or as your transportation company grows, is to determine if it is advisable and financially feasible to provide the ability to have travel or cargo agents and other transportation companies make reservations on your booking system.

The second part of this question is, if you want your agents to make reservations on other passenger or cargo transportation companies.

The decision to interline or not has far reaching financial implications to your transportation company and must be considered very thoroughly by you. The majority of the successful transportation companies do not, at this point, interline.

The subjects that must be addressed, regardless of the size of your company, are booking reservations, accounting, data communication and cost versus potential profit.

This document addresses the interline methods made available by Flight Data Management and our business partners . This will allow you to understand what is available as well as provide the basic points involved in your decision making process.

There are many methods to make this happen. We have analyzed these options and have arrived at solutions that are applicable for, in our opinion, all transportation companies.

The definition of the terms used in this document are:

Term Definition
Accounting The ability for your company to account for the inventory booked on your booking system by your agents and if you interline made by other agents.
Bilaterial Agreement A Bilateral Agreement is a formal agreement between your company and the company you want to be able to book reservations on your system and for you to be able to book reservations on their system. It contains:

  • How you and the other company will connect for data transfer.
  • What data content standard will used.
  • The rules for both companies to abide by.
  • The financial arrangements.
Data Communication The communication network required to communicate with entities either within or outside of your company.
Interlining The ability to have your transportation company communicate with other transportation companies for the purpose of sharing inventory space between the companies.
Interline Accounting The ability to account for the inventory booked on your booking system by entities outside of your company and for you to account for inventory booked on other companies.
Inventory Passengers or cargo space.
Large or Other Transportation Companies or CRS Companies such as American Airlines, etc.. In most cases, it is this level of companies that you want to interline cargo and passengers with.
Service Provider Automobiles Rental Agencies, Hotels, Passenger Ship Lines, etc.. Any provider of service needed to satisfactorily complete reservations for your clients.
IATA Type A Message Format Type A messaging format, a peer-to-peer oriented host-to-host communications and terminal-to-host communications based on a simple telex format. In most cases type A messaging was replaced by the type B messaging format.
IATA Type B Message Format The legacy message content standard. IATA type B protocol is installed in most of the transportation companies.
XML Message Format XML message content standard is the replacement for the legacy IATA Type B content standard. This standard is gathering support and will eventually replace the Type B standard. XML was devised in the late 1980s for retail companies and it was used to quickly replenish their inventory.

Why Interline?

Your need for interlining arose because you wanted:

  • Travel, tour, wholesaler or cargo agents to directly book reservations on your companies booking system on a real-time host-to-host basis.
  • Book reservations directly on other companies booking system on a real-time host-to-host basis.
  • SSR status message support.
  • Type A/B/XML message protocol support.
  • SITA/ARINC telex messages.
  • Support to book reservations on services such as hotel, rental car, catering, etc.

These are the main reasons for wanting to be able to send and receive information (interline) to other reservation systems.

The method we will describe will bring the implementation of interlining into the reach of even the smallest company. And it will not require a staff of your personnel to implement it, use it and to maintain it.

Interlining

Following are the methods that you can use to interline to other companies. eRES supports either method and in either case we will supply a turn-key solution for you.

eRES Interlining with other companies that have eRES installed.

eRES automatically interlines with other eRES systems, the selected inventory on the other eRES systems is booked the same as the reservations on the booking system. The communication protocol is a secure Internet connection and the data is encrypted. This connection provides:

  • Either of the two connected systems can book on the other system.
  • The passenger itinerary shows both the native and interline reservations.
  • The itinerary for a passenger shows the travel, in sequence, and the charges for each entry with a total at the end.
  • The agreement between interlined companies includes the routes to be interlines.

The agreement between the companies will establish the percentage of the fare to be paid to the other company when a reservation is made.

The eRES accounting application automatically issues invoices on a pre-determine schedule. Payment can be real-time and made with cash, credit/debit card, bank transfer or via the IATA BSP clearing house.

Travel agents and corporate clients

Travel agents and corporate clients enroll as agents with a tool that is available to them on the eRES website. For travel agents signing up to eRES there is no interlining required. But travel agents that have signed up with another CRS make their reservations on your system via interlining between the CRS they are connected to and your eRES system. It is better for the travel agents to sign up directly with eTARS as eTARS includes support for you to pay commission to the travel agents.

Once the travel agents enroll with eRES and you approve them and set up their rules including the amount of commission they will be paid they will have the following available to them:

  • To book their passengers reservations directly on eRES
  • They can configure their eRES so that each agent in their agency/company can sign on and the agents are provided a report that shows their bookings. The agency/company management can view, in the reports, an individual agent or the entire agency/company.
  • Agents can view their clients bookings and edit, cancel and add or delete passengers from an itinerary.
  • Travel agencies can connect their agents to the eRES system so that when one of their agents book the travel agency receives the commission.
Baggage

With eRES baggage is iterlined and if the passengers have connecting trips their baggage is automatically transfered to the connecting companies.

eRES interlining with other transportation company using either type A, type B or XML protocols

The connection from the travel, tour, wholesaler or cargo agents to eRES is made transparently via Amadeus, AIRINC or SITA. Reservations are made directly on eRES on a real-time basis. The inventory is maintained on the eRES not the other reservation system.

You will need permission from the other company to be able to book reservations on their system and for them to book on your system. This requires that a bilateral agreement be put into place.

eRES provides accounting of each booking to provide for the travel, tour or cargo agents to be paid their commission and to provide for the payment of the booking to the reservation system actual making the reservation. This requires that your company must be connected to the IATA clearing houses ACH and BSP in order to receive and make payment.

With eRES a full interline accounting package is provided.

You do not have eRES installed

If your company has another reservation system installed our solution provides a standard data interface that is easily interfaced to your system. This allows your support group to implementation an integrated solution using your installed reservation system. The required interface can be created by your IT, not programmers, personnel in just a few hours.

OEM

If you are a company that provides systems for companies we will provide an implementation for you to provide full interlining for your applications.

Implementation

In order to implement this interlining you only have to tell us to implement it. We will do the rest for you. It is that easy.

We will negotiate and put into place all of the required support needed:

  • If required bi-lateral agreements with the companies your wish to interline with.
  • If required a contract with Amadeus.
  • Sign-up for a net terminal with ARINC
    This is mutually exclusive with the contract with AMADEUS
  • A network address and a accounting code from IATA
  • Contract with BSP and ACH - Financial clearing houses.
  • Contract with ATPCO - Publish fares and rules.
  • Contract with OAG - Publish you schedules

To implement the Flight Data Management interline support, you do not need a contract with Amadeus or bilateral agreements with other transportation companies.

If you already have or will purchase another reservation system, we are prepared to work with them to provide the necessary interface to allow an integrated solution for your company.

If you are a company that provides systems for other companies we are prepared to work with you to interline your applications.

Charges Involved

There are two basic methods to connect to another CRS to allow interlining:

  1. ARINC Net Terminal provides a type "B" connection to any CRS connected to the SITA/ARINC/AMADEUS networks:
    • Cost is less than US$100.00 per month.
    • There is a very small network usage charge for the connection between the ARINC terminal and the other reservation system after the maximum allowed free usage is exhausted.
    • Implementation time is about 3 weeks.
  2. Amadeus provides a type "B" connection to any CRS connected to the airline network:
    • Cost is US$350.00 per month.
    • There is very small network usage charge for the connection between the other company and Amadeus.
    • Implementation time is 2 to 3 months.

The operation and results are the same with either of the solutions.

The following charges apply to either method.

  • When a travel agent books a reservation they receive a commission which is paid to them by the reservation system they connect to. This commission plus the service charge by the reservation system is paid by you. The travel agents are given free connection to the reservation system and in some cases the terminals used by the travel agents, this cost is passed onto you via the airline's service charge.
  • The reservation systems usually charge between US$3.00 to US$6.00 per booking as their service charge.
  • You also pay for any reservations that are deleted by the travel agents.
  • You must negotiate a bi-lateral agreement between each company you want to interline with. There is no charge from the other company to put this agreement in place.