Etihad Airways set to transforming passenger services with Sabre
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Etihad Airways will make its ‘Big Switch’ to new, state-of-the-art, passenger sales, website and check-in systems, the most significant milestone in its $1 billion, 10-year deal with Sabre Airline Solutions.

The Passenger Service System (PSS) transformation project is the most challenging IT and business-critical initiative the Abu Dhabi-based airline has implemented in its history. It has involved intensive training for 6,700 Etihad Airways and third-party staff.

The ‘Big Switch’ will integrate Etihad Airways’ current PSS into one platform that will utilize cutting-edge software across its reservations, inventory, eCommerce, distribution and departure control activities.

The new Sabre Airline Solutions PSS will offer significant enhancements to the customer experience especially in areas such as mobile and guest communications.

The ‘Big Switch’ will start on Feb. 23 and is due for completion on Feb. 24. Therefore, between Feb. 22 and 25, Etihad Airways asks guests to follow key guidelines to minimize any potential disruption to their travel experience.

The key messages for customers travelling during that period are:

ʉۢ Arrive at the airport four hours before the flight is due to depart;

• Where possible, check in online from 24 hours before departure and print a boarding pass beforehand and bring it to the airport; and

• If unable to check in online, bring a copy of the email confirmation and/or travel itinerary.

In addition to these guidelines, guests wishing to purchase an upgrade must do so on or before Feb. 21 and any changes to travel arrangements must be made before Feb. 22.

During the ‘Big Switch’ weekend customers can still call the Etihad Airways contact centres but contact centre agents will be unable to take commercial or redemption bookings, make changes or cancellations, or process upgrades.

All booking channels will be down from 11 p.m. UAE time on Friday, Feb.22, and are expected to resume during the day on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Etihad Airways has begun contacting customers and this will continue as the ‘Big Switch’ draws closer. The airline’s website will also continue to feature key information as well as Etihad Airways’ Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways chief commercial officer, said: “The new Sabre passenger services system will offer a wealth of new benefits to Etihad Airways and its customers and we are looking forward to its impact across the business and in particular to customer experience.

“The Big Switch to the new passenger services system however is a significant operation, involving thousands of members of Etihad Airways staff around the world, and therefore we strongly advise our customers to follow the guidelines which will help reduce any potential disruption to their travel plans,” he said.




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