Travel agents are being given access to SNCF rail content through Amadeus after the GDS agreed a distribution partnership with the French rail company and its subsidiary Rail Europe.
The deal will allow European travel agencies to tap into the entire SNCF product range, fares and functionalities in a move Amadeus claims will greatly simplify the booking process.
Agents can book French rail tickets from the Amadeus selling platform with the booking merged back to the Amadeus Passenger Name Record (PNR).
Amadeus Web Services – a standard way of integrating web-based applications – will soon enable agents to build a booking interface on their online portal that includes rail in multi-modal displays or in packages.
The improvement in SNCF rail content distribution follows the introduction of e-ticketing on most French domestic routes and soon on international services.
Agencies have to get SNCF accreditation via their local Rail Europe subsidiary to access content via Amadeus.
Head of Amadeus Rail Diane Bouzebiba said: “Unlike the airlines, the rail industry does not have a common standard data exchange, therefore, making a rail booking requires good railway functionality knowledge and the ability to use several rail booking applications.
“By integrating railways in Amadeus Selling Platform and our web service product, we are now providing an easier way of distributing rail products.”
SNCF international sales director Fabien Soulet said: “By leveraging on Amadeus solutions developed with SNCF on the French market, any European travel agency equipped with Amadeus will access in “real time” to all improvements such as e-ticket.”