Eurostar, the leading high speed passenger rail company serving the UK, France and Belgium, has chosen to expand distribution of its rail services through the Amadeus global distribution system, via the same neutral display used by airlines. Eurostar can now be booked automatically through all Amadeus and e-Travel platforms with no need for new installations.
This initiative allows Amadeus travel agents located in most countries where Eurostar services are not already available through local Amadeus rail distribution solutions, to view, book, and ticket Eurostar services.
Consequently, Eurostar is now fully integrated into the Amadeus system, so bookings are made in exactly the same way as a flight, saving time for agencies in addition to increasing their productivity and revenue. Travel agencies view Eurostar routes alongside flights on the same screen, enabling them to quickly compare rail and air travel options and offer more choice to customers.
Eurostar`s presence on GDS will be particularly beneficial to corporations and business travel agencies, who now have a straight-forward means of accessing the rail company`s hassle-free city-center to city-center business fares. In the leisure market, Amadeus travel agencies will be able to book popular European itineraries, combining long-haul flights from Eurostar`s 9 interline airline partners (including Virgin Atlantic, US Airways and Korean Air) – with short-haul travel on Eurostar.
Amadeus travel agencies processed over 80 million rail bookings in 2002 and the company currently distributes the services of 18 of the world`s leading railway companies, including French SNCF, Amtrak, DeutscheBahn, and the Association of UK Train Operating Companies (ATOC).
Separately, Amadeus Hellas recently inaugurated a pilot program for e-ticketing within Greece. Through this system travel agents will no longer have to issue paper tickets to customers. The service includes maritime travel ticketing even for those without ‘miles or more’ cards or credit cards.