Nine-to-five opening hours for travel agents may soon be a thing of the past (if not already), with Travelport¬†rolling out a mobile application for users of the Galileo GDS.
The Travelport Mobile Agent allows users to obtain full access to Galileo services, such as search, booking and management of air, hotel and car rentals, in a customised app for Apple devices.
The app is one of the first products to come out of the Travelport Developer Network, launched in November last year, meaning it was created by a third party rather than via engineers at Travelport.
Travel Technology Solutions¬†(TTS), a company based in Spain and Portugal, developed the app after joining the network, releasing the first version within days of the initiative being announced.
Since then the app has been piloted with agencies in Portugal, Spain and Brazil and plans are now in place to extend the service to both Android and Blackberry devices in due course.
Agents anywhere around the globe are now able to download and use the app, Travelport says.
But is there a widespread industry need for agents to start managing customers via their mobile devices?
It would certainly appear that encouraging agents to operate away from traditional desktops is gaining momentum, with more than 3,000 agents having downloaded the app during the eight months following its initial, restricted launch.
Whether rival GDSs such as¬†Amadeus¬†and Sabre¬†will take note and develop their own, similar services is unknown, although Amadeus says its Selling Platform product (not an app, but a web-based tool) is being used by agents on iPad devices.
Nevertheless, the launch of a major application for global use under the Travelport brand, but created by a third party through a developer initiative, will go some way to validating its decision – and those of Sabre and Amadeus with their similar initiatives – to “open up” its technology and services to external organisations and individuals.