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company Gray Dawes this month announced it added expense report integration and
Thetrainline rail content to its KDS-powered online booking technology, used by
about 40 clients. The U.K. TMC launched the system, branded gdbookonline,
nearly 10 years ago, and now travelers book 50 percent of transactions online.
Although KDS is its primary content aggregator and software provider, the TMC
supports other booking tools selected by clients. According to the companies,
the gdbookonline system now shows users "results across all U.K. and
international travel options, including traditional airlines, low-cost
operators, hotels, car hire and now U.K. rail. The uniquely integrated and
blended view of search results allows users to quickly and easily identify the
most cost-effective and convenient options for their trip, reducing cost for
the company and stress for the traveler."
Gray Dawes also is
offering KDS' mobile applications, featuring itineraries, bookings, trip
approval and the upload of photographed receipts. While the mobile apps have
"our look and feel and colors," according to Gray Dawes operations
director Nikki Regan, they retain KDS as their brand name. Additional comments
by Regan in a recent interview with BTN editorial director Jay Campbell
How does this announcement change your
relationship with KDS?
This announcement is all about bringing in train, U.K. rail,
into the same environment as the other elements of travel, which is not done
very widely in the U.K.. Also, it completes the picture with the expense part,
the end-to-end expense integration.
Is it possible for agents to support
bookings made through KDS with non-global distribution system content sources?
We work in Galileo, and the agents have an in-house desktop
tool that brings content together. We get a passive notification and we can
support it in the same way we would any. Anything booked outside the GDS is
inserted in the GDS as a passive, so you have a full picture of reporting and
servicing. We can also do PNR import, so if someone calls and makes a booking
offline with the team on the phone, we can pull that into the online
environment if the client wishes that to happen.
How does expense integration alter the
transaction-fee model on travel bookings?
The expense part is still transaction-based, so when someone
submits an expense report, that triggers a transaction fee from us, per report.
It's also based on volume, so the higher the volume, the lower the fee.
How do the fees change based on the
different KDS content sources?
There's a different model and different fees for low-cost
carriers [than for] GDS airlines, and we're looking at trying to develop other
direct links. That's quite a new concept in the U.K. market, where everything
predominantly is GDS-based. But we do have a slightly different cost model for
fulfillment on those types of transactions.
Are there other applications that the
company recommends to clients?
There is airline online check-in, but the only other one we
really look at is Travelport's ViewTrip website for managing the booking and
looking at the latest data for flights, etc. We offer an online management
information portal to clients, but generally we tend to partner with people for