Executive Briefings

Why Red Bull Changed Its Travel Buying Strategy

Travel buyers should start talking to their travel management companies (TMCs) now about how changes to flight booking technologies could impact them, Red Bull’s head of procurement has said.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is rolling out a new purchasing system called the New Distribution System (NDS). NDS promises to give buyers more flexibility over what ancillary services are bought with plane tickets — allowing them to choose if they want to pay for services including hold luggage, meals or airport lounges.

But not all TMCs are geared up for the change, said David Oliver, procurement manager at Red Bull.

Speaking to SM, Oliver said buyers need to ask themselves and their travel partners what the changes mean for them and whether it will be good for businesses. “Are [your TMCs] ready for it, what do they think about it, what’s their position on it, do they believe in it?

“Also the more you understand about it — if [TMCs] are saying it’s a flash in the pan or it won’t be around or, ‘We’re quite confident that GDSs [the old Global Distribution System] will give everything’ — you have to know for sure that the answers you’re getting are correct.”

GDS is still widely used but the industry is slowly changing.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is rolling out a new purchasing system called the New Distribution System (NDS). NDS promises to give buyers more flexibility over what ancillary services are bought with plane tickets — allowing them to choose if they want to pay for services including hold luggage, meals or airport lounges.

But not all TMCs are geared up for the change, said David Oliver, procurement manager at Red Bull.

Speaking to SM, Oliver said buyers need to ask themselves and their travel partners what the changes mean for them and whether it will be good for businesses. “Are [your TMCs] ready for it, what do they think about it, what’s their position on it, do they believe in it?

“Also the more you understand about it — if [TMCs] are saying it’s a flash in the pan or it won’t be around or, ‘We’re quite confident that GDSs [the old Global Distribution System] will give everything’ — you have to know for sure that the answers you’re getting are correct.”

GDS is still widely used but the industry is slowly changing.

Read full article