NEW YORK — According to data listed on the United States Department of Transportation website, cancellations and delays are a continuous issue. The average on-time performance in the airline industry is typically just over 80 percent, as nearly one in five flights is either late, or does not depart.

As a result, travel agencies are facing mounting customer dissatisfaction and are suffering losses. To help combat the challenges within the industry, travel agents are partnering with third party outsourcers to leverage digital solutions and shape customer expectations.

Customers desire more flexibility and speed, but compliance with fare rules holds back improvements on the average handling time.  Over 85 per cent of the customer requests which arise from flights being delayed, rescheduled or cancelled, require agents to go through detailed fare rules. Manually checking Global Distribution Systems and other reference points leaves travel companies liable to agent errors and retail losses hence impacting overall end customer satisfaction.

Intelenet Global Serviceshas recently launched iFARE, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that uses natural language processing to manage refunds and change fees, whilst complying with fare rules.

iFARE, was able to improve the average handling time by 12 per cent for a leading global online travel company, while reducing customer service costs by 30 per cent. By automating the process of retrieving information related to airline fares and policies from multiple databases, iFARE™ fetches all the required information for fare processing.

The new AI tool empowers agents to process a higher volume of customer requests across multiple Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and airline websites.

“Automation is the next frontier for travel providers, enabling contact center agents to achieve faster and better results for customers,” Bhupender Singh, CEO of Intelenet Global Services said in a statement.

“Digitization is revolutionizing the travel industry and our aim is to support our client’s customer relationships through extensive technology deployment. This approach is at the heart of our iFARE™ tool which uses a single interface for easy access to process the required data which carries the valuable information needed to fulfill customer requests,” Singh said.