Over the past few years, a large number of carriers have started introducing no-bag fares on their African routes. This means that checked baggage is not included for entry level fares.
For travel agents, the no-bag fares are a bit of a headache as they can’t always clearly see whether the fare they have selected includes luggage.
Bafana Sithole, Business Line Manager Customer Solutions – Retail SME for Amadeus, shares some advice. “Fare families or unbundled fares have been introduced by a number of airlines on the African market. This is simply in line with trends for the rest of the world: no market worldwide can avoid fare families. They are, as such, a reality for everybody, and have been used in other markets for well over a decade,” he explains.
According to Bafana, there are benefits to fare families. For instance, a customer who requires a day trip between Johannesburg and Cape Town has the complete freedom of choosing whether they’d like to opt for fares with baggage or not – and of course fares without baggage could be cheaper. “Consequently, a customer benefits from a cheaper price, and in the event the customer requires baggage after all … the airline will benefit from extra revenue,” he says.
Amadeus also offers:
- The ability to configure fare search products such as MasterPricer to contain baggage options as a default. This option is available in some markets, including South Africa.
- GUI and Cryptic interfaces laid out in such a way that it is easy to see whether a fare contains baggage allowance is available for all travel agents throughout Africa.
- Numerous options for agents across Africa to automatically search for fares with baggage.
Through one or a combination of these Amadeus agents in Africa are able to directly define at fare search stage their preferred fare option with baggage.