GDS Best Practice

Space churning

Excessive and repeated booking and cancelling of space is often done to:

  • Cancel and/or rebook the same flight, class, date or route to circumvent a fare rule
  • Achieve GDS productivity targets

The above practices are strictly prohibited and will be invoiced on a per segment basis.

 

Duplicate bookings

A travel services provider must not create impossible travel itineraries in a single booking.

It is not allowed to hold concurrent flights for the same travel period where it is not possible for the passenger to travel simultaneously.

Debit memos of US$ 10 per passenger per segment will then be raised against travel agencies found in violation.

 

Fare rules

You must adhere to all ticketing and fare rules, and ensure that the booking is either ticketed or cancelled before the expiry of the ticketing time limit.

Etihad Airways reserves the right to use an automatic programme to cancel segments when ticketing has not occurred within the ticketing time limit.

 

Please refer to the Ticket Time Limit Table.

 

Fictitious and speculative booking and ticket numbers

Holding on to Etihad Airways inventory until a passenger or ticketing opportunity arise increases the airline’s booking fees and reduces the availability of Etihad Airways products.

We ask for your cooperation in using the GDS only when it relates directly to a passenger’s request or intention to buy a ticket.

Creating segments, passive or active, or a combination of both, to meet GDS productivity agreements is a breach of standard industry procedures. This includes the ticketing of duplicate space from one GDS to another, to fulfill booking requirements and gain GDS incentives.

You must not make reservations with fictitious names or enter false ticket numbers. Bookings which contain fictitious names or ticket numbers will be screened. Once identified, bookings are subject to automatic cancellation and debit memos of US$ 10 per passenger per segment will then be raised against travel agencies found in violation.

 

Inactive segments

When a reservation is affected by a schedule change, ticketing time limit action, flight cancellation or any other circumstance, Etihad Airways sends a notification directly to the original booking agent’s GDS queue. This notification communicates the change, directs the booking agent to accept the changes in the passenger name record (PNR) and removes the inactive segments.

 

Changes to itinerary segment status resulting in inactive segments require action at least 24 hours before departure. This includes cancelling ticketed or un-ticketed segments with a status code of UN, NO, HX, WK, WL, or WN.

 

Test bookings

It is not permitted to create bookings for testing or training purposes, or for itinerary pricing, using live inventory.

Pricing transactions are available for all pricing requirements. It is the responsibility of the agency to provide training to its personnel in order to foster the use of those transactions.
Once identified, such bookings are subject to automatic cancellation and debit memos of US$ 10 per passenger per segment will then be raised against travel agencies found in violation.

 

A note about booking  

Etihad Airways shall have the right to audit all booking transactions to identify non-compliant booking practices, and reserves the right to issue invoices to recover excessive GDS cost wastage.

If the non-compliant activity is continued by a travel agent, Etihad Airways reserves the right to take additional action up to and including restricting that agency’s access through the specific GDS which was used by the agency to abuse Etihad Airways inventory.

It is expressly understood that the principles, rules, and instructions set forth above are in addition to the rights of each Carrier pursuant to the ARC ARA and the IATA Passenger Sales Agency Agreement (as may be amended from time to time).

Each agent’s concurrence with these principles, rules, and instructions shall occur by such agent’s continuing performance under the ARC ARA or the IATA Passenger Sales Agency Agreement.

 

Consequences for policy violations

Damages: Etihad Airways reserves the right to hold the travel service provider responsible and liable for any losses and damages due to violation of this policy by the relevant travel service providers.

 

 

Etihad addendum to the IATA PSAA and ARC Agreement

 

Introduction

Your travel agency (“Agent”) has entered into the IATA Passenger Sales Agency Agreement (the “IATA PSAA”) or with respect to travel agency location(s) in the United States the Agent Reporting Agreement (the "ARC Agreement") whereby Agent has been appointed (“Agent’s Appointment”) to act as an agent for Etihad Airways (“Etihad”) in the sale of air transportation. Agent acknowledges and affirms that with effect from 01 January 2015, Agent's continued sale of Etihad’s products and services will evidence our mutual agreement that this Addendum shall constitute a clarification of the Agent’s responsibilities and duties under the IATA PSAA or ARC Agreement, as applicable. To the extent that Agent engages employee, sub-agents, services vendors or other third party contractors to support Agent’s activities within the scope of the Agent’s Appointment, Agent will be responsible to Etihad for their full compliance with this Addendum. The terms and conditions of this Addendum apply to all the tickets issued using Etihad’s ticket stock.

 

1. Appointment.

Etihad may independently review any of Agent's locations, including those under Agent’s common control that are accredited by ARC or IATA (the "Agency Locations"). The review may include on-site inspection of any Agency Location to determine that Agent's operations comply with Etihad's requirements for its agents in the sale of Etihad products and services. Without limitation, and in its sole discretion and at any time, Etihad may, upon written notice to Agent, suspend or limit the Agent’s Appointment, including immediately terminating the appointment of any Agency Location or Agent's Appointment. If any Agency Location is terminated, Agent may not act in any agency capacity for the sale of Etihad’s products and services from the terminated location. If Agent's Appointment is terminated, Agent may not act in any agency capacity whatsoever for the sale of Etihad’s products and services.

2. Compliance with Etihad’s Terms and Conditions

    a) Proper Disclosure of Fares, Charges and Terms and Conditions: Agent advertising Etihad fares as available for purchase through agent must at all times include all applicable taxes, airport charges, and all other levies, charges and fees (“Required Fees”) that are known at the time of advertising. Any Required Fees communicated to the Agent by Etihad may not be altered by the Agent. Charges for optional products and services must be clearly presented as such, and should be applied only if the customer affirmatively elects to purchase such product or service (i.e. no pre-checked boxes for optional charges). Agents may not impose charges for services that Etihad provides to its customers without charge, such as online check-in. Agents also may not impose additional charges in addition to Etihad’s fees for any paid Etihad service, such as excess baggage. If the Agent collects a fee from the customer for the booking, such fee must be clearly disclosed as separate from Etihad’s fares and the Required Fees, in a way that makes it clear that the fee is being collected by the Agent and not Etihad (for example, labeled as “[Agency Name] Booking Fee”). The Agent may in no event impose service fees, discounts, or other fees for Etihad fares that are higher than those imposed by the agent on any other carrier’s fares. Agent must ensure that its systems, processes and sales practices accurately display and convey all information relating to Etihad's products and services as presented by Etihad. Agent's systems, processes and practices may automate a customer's preferences for air carrier, but must not otherwise involve any form of bias against Etihad's products and services, or alter the presentation of the information as provided by Etihad. All Etihad terms and conditions and applicable fare rules and restrictions must be communicated by the Agent to the customer prior to booking. Any additional terms and conditions imposed by the Agent must be clearly disclosed to the customer, in a way that makes it clear that such terms and conditions are not set or endorsed by Etihad. To ensure customers are provided accurate information, any description of Etihad’s product offering must include a link to source of the information on Etihad.com. This includes information about baggage fees, onboard product offering, seat maps, financial products and awards.

 

    b) Prohibition of Abusive Booking Practices: Agent acknowledges that Space Churning, Duplicate, Impossible/Illogical Bookings and other Fraudulent, Fictitious, or Abusive Bookings, violate Etihad's Rules (See Etihad's ADM Policy for further information on other Fraudulent or Abusive Booking practices). Circumventing journey controls to obtain sold out inventory is also prohibited. Furthermore, since Etihad is not a participant in other carriers’ private agreements and since Etihad does not honour other airlines' discount codes, Agent agrees that other airlines' private or contracted fares or ticket designators may not be ticketed using Etihad’s ticket stock. Agent acknowledges that if it engages in these practices or sells or issues a ticket used for any of these purposes, Agent will be subject to (1) debit memos, (2) the suspension, limitation or termination of Agent's Appointment, and (3) other remedies available to Etihad.

 

    c) Fraud and Misrepresentations: Agent will not engage in any fraudulent activity, including altering flight coupons for non-qualifying discount travel, backdating tickets, or selling no-cash-value coupons, discounts, or upgrades. Fraudulent activity also includes intentionally withholding or misrepresenting information regarding Etihad products and services, such as information regarding availability and pricing.

 

 

3Use of Etihad's Identification Plate. 

Etihad's validation plate is Etihad's sole property, and Agent will surrender it immediately upon demand by Etihad, ARC or IATA. Agent shall not issue electronic tickets or any other traffic documents for transportation on any airline that has refused to appoint, or has terminated its appointment of, Agent. Further, Agent will not issue tickets for transportation on Etihad on behalf of any other travel agency location for which Etihad has refused or terminated its appointment, including any of the Agency Locations. Agent will not use Etihad's validation to issue tickets for transportation on carriers that do not maintain a ticketing and baggage interline agreement with Etihad.



4. Etihad Data

    a) Data Ownership: Agent acknowledges that Etihad content and data constitute Etihad's valuable property and that unauthorised distribution or remarketing of Etihad content and data is improper and unlawful. Such unauthorised distribution or remarketing of Etihad content and data would constitute, in part: (1) accessing etihad.com by the use of any automated or electronic devices commonly known in the Internet industry as robots or spiders, or by the use of other electronic search devices; (2) soliciting, facilitating, encouraging or agreeing to provide access to or otherwise remarket or redistribute, or take affirmative steps to allow or permit such access to, or remarketing or redistribution of, any Etihad content or data to any third party, through any process, including screen scraping, spiders, web "bots" or other device, software or system; (3) licensing, selling, or otherwise providing to any person or entity any software or other device that is capable of accessing Etihad content or data from any source; or (4) assisting, aiding, or abetting in any way the unauthorised access of etihad.com, or the distribution or display of Etihad data obtained or derived from etihad.com or any other website or any other source, by any third party. Agent shall not engage in any of the above examples, or any other unauthorised distribution or remarketing of Etihad content or data, without the prior written authorisation of Etihad. If Agent learns that any third party is accessing, distributing, or displaying Etihad content or data in any way obtained via Agent, including Agent's website, without Etihad's written authorisation, Agent shall promptly inform Etihad and take all commercially reasonable measures, including commercial, technological, or legal measures, to prevent the unauthorised access, display, or distribution of Etihad content or data.

 

    b) Etihad’s Intellectual Property: Etihad grants Agent a limited, royalty free, non-transferable, non-exclusive permission to use certain Etihad intellectual property, specifically the trademarks “ETIHAD”, “ETIHAD AIRWAYS” (“Etihad Marks”) solely for the purpose of identifying Agent as an authorised agent of Etihad. In using the Etihad Marks, Agent agrees that Etihad owns the Etihad Marks, and that Agent will not harm the Etihad Marks or Etihad's ownership of the Etihad Marks or in any way contest or deny the validity of, or the right or title of Etihad in or to, the Etihad Marks. Agent acknowledges and understands that it has no right or permission to use the Etihad Marks for any purpose not expressly stated in these terms and conditions, and that any unauthorised use of the Etihad Marks will constitute an infringement of Etihad's rights. Agent understands that it has no right or permission pursuant to this Addendum to use any other intellectual property owned by Etihad or its affiliated entities.  Agent further agrees that it will not purchase, use, or register any domain names or keywords or search terms that are identical or similar to, or contain (in whole or in part), any of the Etihad Marks.

 

    c) Re-Distribution: Agent’s Appointment is for purposes of the Agent marketing and selling Etihad’s products and services directly to customers for those products and services. Agent’s Appointment is specific to Agent, and does not include any authority for Agent to act as an intermediary for further distribution of Etihad’s products and services via other intermediaries and sales agents. For example, Agent may not offer or distribute Etihad products and services as part of a service provided by Agent that is re-branded so that it appears to customers to be a search, booking or ticketing service from a third party or distribute, display or otherwise provide direct or indirect access to any Etihad Data (or any portion thereof) to any other party, including without limitation any Metasearch Site, or receive any referral, web page click-through or link from any Metasearch Site that is attributable to any Etihad fare in connection with any search result on the Metasearch Site. Agents also may not place or otherwise have any advertising link on any Metasearch Site in connection with any Etihad fare. A “Metasearch Site” is an Internet website that obtains fare data from various travel services companies, aggregates such fare data in response to user queries, and includes links to such other travel service companies for booking the selected itineraries. Any such re-distribution arrangement is only permitted pursuant to a separate agreement signed by authorised representatives of both Agent and Etihad. In addition, if Agent uses or works with a non-accredited entity in making a booking, then Agent acknowledges and agrees that Etihad reserves the right to reject the booking in Etihad’s sole discretion and that Agent nonetheless remains fully responsible to Etihad in all respects for any bookings made by third parties and ticketed via Agent’s Appointment.

5. Right to Inspect and Audit

Etihad shall have the right to enter any Agency Location upon reasonable notice to: (1) inspect Agent's books and records relating to air transportation sold on Etihad and to ensure Agent's compliance with the provisions of the IATA PSSA/ ARC Agreement and this Addendum; and (2) audit Agent's books and records to detect or establish Agent's abuse of, or failure to comply with, any of Etihad’s Rules concerning sale of travel on Etihad, Agency free and reduced rate travel, Agency Incentives, promotional or override programmes, or Agent ticket fraud. Agent agrees that Etihad may use information obtained from IATA or ARC to evaluate the credit-worthiness of Agent and Agent's employees and owners.

 

6. Agent Incentive, Promotional, and Override Programmes

Agent shall comply with Etihad’s rules and any specific contractual requirements concerning agency incentives, promotions, or overrides with Etihad in which Agent participates or has an interest. Failure to comply subjects Agent to (1) forfeiture and repayment to Etihad of all sums paid by Etihad to Agent or the value received by Agent, (2) termination of Agent's right to participate in or receive all or a part of any agency incentives, promotions, or overrides, and (3) termination of Agent's Appointment.

7. Miscellaneous.

    a) Prior Agreements. This Agreement supersedes any prior agreement or addendum between Etihad and Agent.

    b) Waiver. Any waiver or modification of any of the terms of this Addendum must be in writing from Etihad. Etihad may amend or modify this Addendum at any time. Agent agrees that failure of or delay by Etihad to require strict performance or to enforce any provision of this Addendum, or a previous waiver or forbearance by Etihad, will in no way be construed as, or constitute, a continuing waiver by Etihad of any Rule or any provision of this Addendum.

 

APPLICABLE LAW. THE LAWS OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES SHALL GOVERN ANY DISPUTES BETWEEN ETIHAD AND AGENT ARISING OUT OF THE IATA PSSA, ARC AGREEMENT OR THIS ADDENDUM. AGENT HEREBY SUBMITS AND CONSENTS TO THE NON-EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS OF UNITED ARAB EMIRATES FOR ALL THESE DISPUTES.

 

 

Etihad Airways recognizes the Global Distribution System (GDS) as a valuable distribution channel, and as such, we currently participate in all major systems. As part of our participation, we pay incremental fees for travel agent bookings. Billable activity includes sell, cancel, waitlist, change, schedule change, etc.

This policy applies to all GDS subscribers including travel agents and any person or entity accessing Etihad Airways internal reservation system content via the Internet or any other electronic means. It is the responsibility of the GDS subscribers to ensure that all of its employees, agents and contractors in all of its locations, are familiar with this policy.

We hereby request all GDS subscribers to make every effort to comply with these policy guidelines.

A- POLICY

1. Waiting lists

Travel Service providers must not repeatedly create waitlisted bookings, since these do not increase chances of confirming and result only in higher booking volumes and increased GDS fees for Etihad Airways.

Travel Service providers must ensure all waitlisted bookings are removed from the active PNR at least 24 hours prior to departure.

2. Passive bookings:

An acceptable passive segment is entered into a GDS for the purpose of ticketing. It must match an existing booking in Etihad Airways internal reservation system. The use of mismatched segments to issue tickets is strictly prohibited.

Industry standards require that passive segments be used “for the purpose of ticketing” only after a booking has been made in an airline inventory system. Etihad Airways does not allow passive segments to be used for other reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Satisfying GDS productivity requirements
  • Circumventing fare rules
  • Fulfilling an administrative function

If a passive segment is rejected by Etihad Airways, then the passive segment should be cancelled immediately by the agent in order to avoid unnecessary fees to Etihad Airways.

 

3. Married Segments:

Booking class inventory availability varies with specific Origin-Destination (O&D) cities. Connecting flight segments should be booked from a single availability display from point of origin to point of destination. Flight segments sold together are designated as “married segments” and must not be separated. Rebooking or cancelling any married segments must, at the same time, be applied to the connecting flight segment.

A PNR is considered a violation of married segment if:

  • There is no married segment indicator on the PNR
  • The married segment indicator is not in sequence
  • The married segment indicator is missing in one of the legs of an O&D
  • Any partial cancellations have been done on OD segments

 

Multi segment itineraries must be booked together in one transaction. All practices that manipulate the system to accept bookings made against the married segment logic are strictly prohibited.

 

3.1. Married segments procedure

  1. Book married segments from the O&D availability display
  2. When rebooking, cancel all connecting flight segments of a married Origin and Destination (partial cancellations on OD segments will be considered a violation)
  3. Rebook all new selected flight segments of a married Origin and Destination in the same entry

 

3.2. Married segment abuse

  1. Booking manipulation of married segments
  2. Cancellation of partial itineraries
  3. Booking flights to a fictitious destination to find flight availability in a lower booking class

 

If we find married segment abuse, we have the right to cancel the reservation for all unticketed bookings immediately. Ticketed bookings will be cancelled within 24 hours. The agency will be held responsible for any inconvenience caused to the guests, and an Agency Debit Memo (ADM) of US $200 per passenger in Economy or US $400 per passenger in First and Business will be raised.

 

4. Training/Test bookings:

It is not permitted to create bookings for testing or training purposes, or for itinerary pricing, using live inventory.

 

Pricing transactions are available for all pricing requirements. It is the responsibility of the agency to provide training to its personnel in order to foster the use of those transactions.

Once identified, such bookings are subject to automatic cancellation and debit memos of US$ 10 per passenger per segment will then be raised against travel agencies found in violation.

 

5. Origin - Destination (O&D) availability abuse:

Point of Commencement for a given itinerary is determined by Point of Origin in the booking. Availability on a flight may differ from different point of commencement or journey board point. Booking should be created using the OD availability in sequence of journey. When a flight shows an “Availability Display” as part of a connection, the entire connection or travel option must be sold together.

A revised Married Segment Integrity policy will come into effect from 1 May 2020.

 

6. Abuse of Point of Commencement (POC)

All flights should be booked in the right sequence, as per the passenger’s intended journey. Bookings created solely with an intention to bypass Etihad inventory, for instance, to obtain seats in unavailable cabins, will be considered as a Point of Commencement violation. Unticketed bookings will be cancelled immediately, and ticketed bookings will be cancelled within 24 hours. The agency will be held responsible for any inconvenience caused to the guests, and an Agency Debit Memo (ADM) of US $200 per passenger in Economy or US $400 per passenger in First and Business will be raised.

The following instances are considered POC abuse:

  • Booking Out of Sequence is not allowed èInbound booked first & outbound booked later
  • Booking Dummy Segment is not allowed èBooking a segment at the beginning of the itinerary which is not intended

 

7. Invalid ticket on bookings (eticket validation):

Holding confirmed bookings with VOIDED/REFUNDED/FLOWN TICKET in live inventory is not permitted.

Invalid ticket numbers include restricted, used, refunded, voided or non–existent ticket numbers associated with confirmed segments in a booking. A valid ticket should be provided immediately or the booking needs to be cancelled if ticket is voided/refunded/flown. Once identified, such bookings are subject to automatic cancellation and ADMs of US$ 10 per passenger per segment, will then be raised against travel agencies found in violation.

8. Interline Ticketing

The Travel Service provider must not validate any ticket on Etihad Airways if the ticket contains a flight segment(s) on any other airlines unless the other airline is an Etihad interline partner and has a ticketing and baggage agreement with Etihad. In addition, any ticket validated on Etihad must contain at least one Etihad flight segment. A listing of Etihad’s interline partners is available via Travel Service provider’s GDS system. We permit stand-alone tickets only for our Partner Airlines where they are not present in local BSP.

B- Consequences for policy violations

Damages: Etihad Airways reserves the right to hold the Travel Service provider responsible and liable for any losses and damages due to violation of this policy by the relevant Travel Service providers. 

ADM Issuance:

ADMs will be processed through BSP/ARC and issued within 9 months of the final travel date, or the expiry date of the document when the final travel date cannot be established.

The minimum amount for the issuance of a single ADM is US$ 10 (or equivalent amount in local currency). Differences that are lower than this amount, related to more transactions of the same kind and with the same memo reason, may be included in one single ADM.

ADM Fee Structure applicable for GDS violation of policy

Policy

Charges (in US$)

Un-cancelled Inactive Segments

US $10 per passenger/per segment

Space Churning

ADM will be raised for the excessive churn cost amount

Duplicate segments on same bookings

US $10 per passenger/per segment

Fictitious/Speculative bookings

US $10 per passenger/per segment

Married Segment Control abuse

Etihad Airways will raise ADM of USD200 in Economy Cabin and USD400 in Business and First cabin per passenger for ticketed bookings that are not made in compliance with the Married segment abuse.

Origin - Destination (O&D) availability abuse

Etihad Airways will raise ADM of USD200 in Economy Cabin and USD400 in Business and First cabin per passenger for ticketed bookings that are not made in compliance with the Journey/Married segment Integrity policy. 

E-Ticket Validation (Invalid Ticket)

US $10 per passenger/per segment

Passive Bookings

US $10 per passenger/per segment

Effective from 19 November 2019, we’ve made some changes to the amount of time your guests have to pay for ancillaries, including seats and extra bags.

 

·         If you book an ancillary item, make sure to issue an Electronic Miscellaneous document (EMD) straight away. If you do not issue an EMD to fulfil the payment, the ancillary will be automatically cancelled six hours before the scheduled flight time.

·         Ancillaries that change to fulfilled status “HI” when selected will not be affected

·         Ancillaries booked within six hours of the flight will be cancelled after 30 minutes if they haven’t been paid for

·         For Travel Agency bookings, another IX routine is in place to cancel seat and baggage ancillaries 6 hours after assignment if unfulfilled

Policy

A Special Service Request (SSR) enables you to offer guests more choice on board. They include:

  • Different types of meal, such as diabetic or low-calorie.
  • A choice of seats: Extra Legroom, Preferred and Neighbour-Free.
  • Special assistance (such as wheelchairs).
  • Baggage handling requests.
  • Unaccompanied Minor service for children travelling alone.
  • Codes to notify the crew about certain passengers e.g. a VIP, a deportee or someone who has impaired hearing.
  • Codes to notify the crew about situations e.g. an animal in the hold or sporting equipment.
  • GDS entry for a Stretcher Passenger

 

SSRs are subject to availability. Please review the full GDS list:

 

Here are GDS specific ancillary guides:

 

To improve our availability during peak travel periods, our Peak Ticketing Time Limit (TTL) rules for all cabins are:

 

·         30 days or more before departure: Five days after booking

·         Seven to 29 days before departure: Two days after booking

·         One to six days before departure: Six hours after booking

·         Within 24 hours before departure: Two hours after booking

 

These rules apply to all bookings created on or after 11 February 2019 and are based on the point of sale (POS) and origin/destination.

 

Etihad Airways is implementing Point of Commencement (POC) based availability. This will be rolled out across GDS systems in a number of phases.

 

Point of Commencement (POC) uses the starting point of the journey for evaluation. Currently, availability is based on the Point of Sale (POS, O&D) meaning that availability of may differ from POS to POS.

 

POC will show availability irrespective of physical location, so everyone in the world will get the same availability for a given itinerary.

 

From March 2019, availability for bookings made through Worldspan and Apollo (1P, 1V) will be based on the customer’s journey starting point – Point of Commencement – for all travel agents.

 

 

This will mean that travellers will have the same availability across all of Etihad Airways’ booking channels (GDS, Web, Contact Centre).

 

What is Point of Commencement abuse?


All Etihad Airways bookings should be created in the right sequence, as per the passenger’s intended journey. Bookings created solely with an intention to bypass EY inventory, for instance to obtain seats in cabins that are not available at the time of booking, will be considered as a Point of Commencement violation. In this case, unticketed and ticketed bookings will be cancelled and an agency debit memo (ADM) will be raised.