FlightStats Partners with Airlines to Automate Policy Exception Waivers

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FlightStats transforms the manual process of applying waivers to create new opportunities for TMCs

FlightStats, Inc., the leader in global flight information services, part of FlightGlobal, is introducing Travel Waiver Services, a new service that will enable Travel Management Companies (TMCs) to automate the process of matching airline policy exception waivers to their travelers’ itineraries. Having this capability will save agents time, as well as aid TMCs in facilitating proactive re-accommodation and automated refunds.

Airlines issue waivers that offer exceptions to change fees and cancellation penalties during times of significant off-schedule operations, such as severe weather events, technical problems, or labor actions. However, the process of identifying trips that qualify for these waivers and handling them is very manual and labor-intensive.

Agents often end up calling the airline to verify that a trip qualifies, and to understand the details of applying for the waiver. Worse yet, this happens at the time when both the TMC and airline call centers can least afford it-- during substantial disruptions. The call centers are often already overwhelmed with travelers needing re-accommodation, leading to longer hold times, which adds to their frustration.

“FlightStats has always been about getting the right information into the hands of the right people at the right time to minimize the impact of disruptions,” said Robyn Grassanovits, Head of Product at FlightStats. “Applying our experience and expertise to the problem of airline waivers was a natural extension of our vision. With Travel Waiver Services, TMCs will know immediately when new waivers are available and which of their trips qualify for the waiver, allowing them to proactively re-accommodate their most valuable travelers and automate key parts of the process.”

Gant Travel Management is the first TMC to deploy the new service to power their Perfect WaiverTM program.

“This service puts waiver information right at a Gant agent’s fingertips so they can work more confidently and quickly on a traveler’s behalf,” said Kurt Mosher, Gant’s Chief Operations Officer. “Automating the waiver process helps us decrease call time and improve traveler satisfaction.”

FlightStats has four major U.S. airlines providing them with waiver data, including United Airlines, and plans to continue to expand this number. United took their involvement with the service even further by providing FlightStats with structured waiver data, which improves the reliability of the trip-to-waiver matching and enables TMCs to drive even more automation. In addition, United’s waiver data will be entered into the FlightStats system well before the typical agency notification emails go out, allowing participating TMCs to notify their travelers and begin taking proactive action.

“We are committed to connecting people to the moments that matter most,” said Jake Cefolia, United’s vice president of Americas Sales. “FlightStats’ new services empower travel agents with the automation and flexibility they need to quickly serve our mutual customers while minimizing some of the stress associated with irregular operations.”

To learn more about this service, contact Candice Parfitt at 503.445.4510 or email marketing(at)flightstats(dot)com.

About FlightStats

FlightStats, part of FlightGlobal, is a cutting-edge data services company focused on providing real-time global flight data to companies and travelers across the travel ecosystem. We strive to tell the “story” of a flight – from what’s expected, to what is happening now, to what happened. We deliver these stories via our Data Services, and through our FlightStats-branded web and mobile applications. We believe flight data is valuable and is made even more valuable when delivered in conjunction with other contextual data. We manage multiple data sets that relate directly to or intersect with flights – trips, weather, and other aviation-related data.

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Candice Parfitt
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