Etihad Airways will switch to new, state-of-the-art, passenger sales, website, and check-in systems next week, the most significant milestone in its US$1 billion, 10-year deal with Sabre Airline Solutions.
The Passenger Service System transformation project is the most challenging IT and business-critical initiative that 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 utilise 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 switchover will start on 23rd February, and is due for completion on 24th February. Therefore during 22nd and 25th February Etihad Airways asks passengers to follow key guidelines to help ensure that any disruption to their travel experience is kept to a minimum.
The key messages for customers travelling during that period are:
- 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 boarding pass beforehand and bring to the airport
- If unable to check-in online bring a copy of email confirmation and / or travel itinerary
In addition to these guidelines, anyone wishing to purchase an upgrade must do so on or before 21st February and any changes to travel arrangements must be made before 22nd February.
During the switchover weekend customers can still contact their local Etihad Airways Contact Centre on 01 656 9900. The airline’s Contact Centre in Abu Dhabi is available 24/7 and can be contacted on +971 2 599 0000, 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 11pm on Friday 22nd February and are expected to resume during the day on Sunday 24th February.
Etihad Airways has begun contacting customers and this will continue as the switchover 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, 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.”