Exchanges (Manage Your Booking: Change Itinerary Flow)
Digital Connect introduces an enhancement to the Manage Your Booking: Change Itinerary Flow (MYB: CI) and allows airlines to support the following scenario:
- Airlines that support redemption bookings (whether fixed, dynamic or combination rewards) is able to allow exchanges of the redemption bookings.
This enhancement allows Airlines, in case of Redemption bookings, to refund points back into the LMS (Loyalty Management System). Passengers no longer need to contact the Call Center to refund their tickets that were paid with points and Airlines no longer need to create Travel Bank accounts for refunding any residual values during exchanges.
Remark: in case of partial exchange of the redemption bookings we resale both legs but the passenger is changing only one leg - the second leg is retained in the PNR and just re-priced.
In case of tickets issued with MFOP (Multiple Form of Payment), points payment are refunded back into the LMS account and depending on airline configuration either be refunded to CC (Credit Card) or to Travel Bank (when AER is returning “Refund to voucher only”).
The back-end flow is also slightly different as AER is only used to check refund eligibility of ticket, to change ticket status to “RFND” (REFUNDED) and to refund monetary value back to Credit Card/Travel Bank. Change fee is shopped from Query ancillaries and fee from AER is waived and an EMD-S (stand-alone EMD – not associated with the ticket) is issued for the change fee so it is a full refund for the amount due and then a new charge for the new itinerary and a new charge for the change fee.
- Airlines need to have a LMS (Loyalty Management System) service provider. The airlines LMS needs to support refunds, either full refunds or partial refunds.
- Airlines need to enable the Redemption Flow (RBE) and the Manage Your Booking – Change Itinerary Flow (MYB: CI).
- MFOR functionality needs to be enabled.
- Original booker who used his points to pay for a booking must be the logged in user during exchange flow.
- Airline has to file and configured an ancillary for cancellation fee – in the Merchandising Manager/ATPCO.
- If the airline wants to offer free of charge exchange (refund and new sale) process it is recommended to configure cancel change fee with zero amount.
- Ticket must be fully unflown - trip has not commenced.
- Does not support change from Round Trip to One Way.
- If any segment has been upgraded, the passenger needs to contact the Call Center.
- If there is an involuntary exchange, the passenger needs to contact the Call Center.
- If there are any segments with unconfirmed schedule change, the passenger needs to contact the Call Center.
- Cancellation can be done only for all passengers – split PNR functionality is not supported.
- Does not support Ticket revalidation only re-issue.
- Change fee can only be paid only with a single FOP.
- Does not support cancellation of ancillaries/seats paid in points as currently LMS systems do not support partial refunds. If the passenger has ancillaries paid in points, they are redirected to the existing flow so that the refund is done through AER and the refund goes to Travel Bank. Unless it is a fixed reward booking then segments are cancelled, OTH segment is added to keep the PNR active, and PNR is queue placed for manual handling by airline agent to refund the ticket.
- The Manage Your Booking – Modify Trip Options flow (MYB: MTO) is be supported if original ancillaries/seats are paid with points.
- AER has the limitation that it cannot refund tickets with zero value. It has an impact on infant fares that have a zero value. For such cases ticket remains in the PNR with OK status. New ticket is issued for the new route.
- No new ancillaries may be purchased in this flow. The purchase of additional ancillaries can be done only through the MYB: MTO path.
For partial exchanges, if CAT5 rule is filed, there is a limitation that we are not able to re-price retained segment(s) after x-numbers of days (depending on the ATPCO fare rules categories restrictions namely advance purchase). In order to price the itinerary with a retained segment we use historical pricing, as this allows us to work around the CAT5 advance purchase regulation.
There are no changes for the standard sequence of Digital Connect service calls – only new logic that supports exchanges and refunds of the redemption bookings has been introduced:
- The airline prompts the passenger for login credentials; the passenger supplies them.
- The airline logs the passenger in with the /login POST service.
- The /pnr/exchange service GET operation initializes the Exchange process, checks (validates) MYB rules (separate for logged-in and guest user) and returns information for the PNR specified by the parameters (PNR locator, first name, last name and email – required fields are configurable). If the PNR is found, all the flight details are returned (including the payment details).
- New rule in GET/pnr/exchange to ensure that logged in passenger is also the original person who paid for the initial booking to continue with the exchange and refund process.
- The airline calls /pnr/exchange/products/air/search POST to pass search criteria from the passenger and to obtain the list of available flights matching the search criteria to the passenger. The airline can format the information for display to the passenger.
- New field retainedItineraryPartOffer has been added – new object RetainedOffer below AirSearchResults class to expose actual price information for the retained leg from Round Trip search result. If the retained leg is sold out, the price is retrieved from payfields in the reservation.
- The passenger selects a flight.
- The airline submits /pnr/exchange/products/air POST to add selected flight to the itinerary.
- The airline calls /pnr/exchange/products/ancillaries GET to obtain list of ancillaries from the original booking (stored in the PNR). If the original reservation contains ancillaries (paid Ancillaries with EMD(s) issued), the airline needs to check if the re-association criteria are met – /pnr/exchange/products/ancillaries POST operation is be blocked – no option to add new ancillaries to the reservation.
- The airline calls /pnr/exchange/products/seats GET to obtain seat map for the original booking (stored in the PNR). If the original reservation contains seats (paid with EMD(s) issued), the airline needs to check if the re-association criteria are met.
- When the passenger selects seats, the airline calls POST /pnr/exchange/products/seats to add seats selected by the passenger to the itinerary.
- The airline can call /pnr/exchange/products GET operation to obtain a current list, with prices of products that the passenger has added to the itinerary and uses this information to build and display a shopping cart.
- When the passenger indicates that shopping is complete the airline obtains available payment options, returns refund targets and virtual balance for the current itinerary by calling /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions GET. The airline can format the information for display to the passenger.
- When the passenger selects type of payment, the airline calls GET /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions/details/AWARD to obtain fare slider (possible combinations of points and cash used to pay for fare) and ancillary toggles (possible cash/points options per ancillary/seat group and change fee). In addition, this service also returns the current (selected or initial) slider position + (selected or initial) current ancillary/seat toggle statuses.
- In case of redemption-only transactions (i.e. base fare paid fully with points), Digital Connect enables airlines to use the Award Conversion Database (ACD), and a separate, configurable fixed conversion ratio is used in cash and points transactions. This expands the points of sale logic to enable the use of different cash to points ratios.
- The passenger can set the desired amount for VCR by using the dynamic Slider (amount can be distributed between cash and points - the airline can set the minimum number of points required for the VCR). For the EMDs (ancillaries and seats) the passenger can select toggles (only points or only cash). The airline calls /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions/details/AWARD POST and provides information about the slider position and toggles selections. The response indicates if the passenger selection is being saved.
- If multiple forms of payment identified based on passenger selection, the POST /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions is required to obtain the second cash payment options with residual cash values. In request AWARD payment has to be sent with correct points amount based on current user selection (done via POST pnr/exchange/paymentOptions/details/AWARD).
- When the passenger selects the form of payment, completes the new flight selection and decides to exchange the ticket the application:
- Refunds the original ticket;
- Refunds points to user LMS account;
- Issues a new ticket;
- Issues EMD for change fee and for any paid seats selected;
- Re-associates ancillaries if any, to the new ticket.
- The response indicates whether the purchase is successful. The airline formats this information for display to the passenger.
Error Handling Scenarios
- /pnr/exchange GET - flow initialization
- When there is a call to the /pnr/exchange/ GET for the PNR that is eligible for an award exchange but the user is not logged in.
- When there is a call to the /pnr/exchange/ GET for the logged in passenger with an award account that is different than the account used in the original booking.
Frequent Flyer validation applies also to other services in award exchange path (to avoid logout/re-login processes during the exchange path). List of all services:
- POST /pnr/exchange/products/air/search
- POST /pnr/exchange/products/air
- GET /pnr/exchange/products/ancillaries
- GET /pnr/exchange/products/seats
- POST /pnr/exchange/products/seats
- GET /pnr/exchange/products
- PUT /pnr/exchange/products
- GET /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions
- POST /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions
- GET /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions/details/AWARD
- POST /pnr/exchange/paymentOptions/details/AWARD
- POST /pnr/exchange/purchase
- /pnr/exchange/products/air?selectFlights POST
- AER exception: nonrefundable or partial refundable fare message
- QueryAncillaries exception: no change fee is being returned from SE or change fee is not defined
- Reprice exception: unsuccessful SE RePrice error
- /pnr/exchange/products/ancillaries POST
As adding new ancillaries is not permitted in award exchange flow, the service responds with an error when trying to add ancillaries.
- /pnr/exchange/purchase POST
- Before Point of no return (hard failures):
- Invalid CC (PWS error)
- Invalid payment data (wrong amount)
- Invalid payment data (wrong currency)
- After Point of no return (soft failures)
- AER call fails
- CollectMiscFee call fails
- Refund points fails (PWS error)
- Points authorization fails (PWS error)
- Seats error (case when 4G does not add AE)
- Seats error (4G fails)
- VCR ticketing fails
- UpdateReservation fails (creating AE for change fee ancillary)
- Removing Obsolete award payment PayFields fails
- Adding refund PayFields fails
- Adding award payment PayFields fails
- EMD reassociation fails
- Before Point of no return (hard failures):
New Rule Allowing to Turn on MFOR Configuration for an Exchange and Cancel Process for the Redemption Bookings
As the new Exchange and Cancel process for the Redemption Bookings (when points are refunded back into the Loyalty Management System) is based on Multiple Forms of Refund (MFOR) mechanism and the currently existing configuration is global for all post-booking flows, it is required to turn on MFOR for the Award Exchange and Cancel scenarios.
Exchange and Cancel process for the Redemption Bookings is used in case of below scenarios:
- The original VCR(s) were paid fully in points or points and cash,
- No Ancillaries in the reservation or EMD(s) were paid with cash.
Any other scenario leads to the standard Exchange and Cancel flow.
V12 rule to turn on MFOR configuration for the new Award Exchange and Cancel process.