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NEWS


DNATA TO START REQUESTING CLIENT DATA POST-PEAKS


EXCLUSIVE


TTG Take


Tom Parry, senior reporter


It’s encouraging to see a brand as big as dnata leading on updating booking and customer care processes. Some agents may understandably be wary of sharing client data with suppliers, but Gold Medal and Travel 2 have a close relationship with the trade, putting them in good stead for taking this bold step. Surely closer cooperation in uncertain times can only be a good thing?


Tom Parry


Dnata has confirmed its B2B brands will begin asking agents for client data “once peaks is over” following “hard lessons” from the Thomas Cook collapse. John Bevan (inset), chief


executive, dnata Travel Europe, told TTG that following peaks Gold Medal and Travel 2 will begin requesting lead passenger contact details from trade partners during the booking process. Bevan initially called for greater


data-sharing capabilities at Abta’s Travel Convention in Tokyo, just over a fortnight after Cook’s failure on 23 September sparked widespread chaos for the trade and clients. Writing for TTG this week (see


ttgmedia.com), he said it was time for


“outdated and protectionist practices that ultimately put the customer at a disadvantage” to be “consigned to history”.


Gold Medal and Travel 2 saw duplicate bookings by customers who rebooked post-Cook even though their holiday was safe. “As agents don’t pass on


customer contact information to us, we had no way to


communicate with the thousands rebooking, which caused significant confusion at


a time when clarity and speed were of the essence,” Bevan recalled. He said the move would see dnata


holding client data “separately and securely” in line with GDPR regulations from the time the booking is confirmed to the day after the customer returns from their holiday –


at which point it will be erased. Bevan also stressed data would not be used for marketing. He said by sharing information, travel companies would “be better able to fulfil our legal obligation to look after and care for customers when they need it most”. In a separate comment piece for TTG,


lawyer Farina Azam, partner and travel lead at Kemp Little, said the industry needed to work to “fight the mistrust” over data sharing. She added that assumptions data-sharing agents would be in breach of GDPR were incorrect. To allay worries about information misuse, Azam suggested conditions could be applied to agents’ trading agreements, stating that information should be used only for reasons related to the client’s trip.


Read Bevan’s and Azam’s columns in full at ttgmedia.com


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY THIS WEEK… Mon 13 Jan BBC One, 8.30pm


Panorama An investigation into the government’s plans to save run-down town centres by investing in the high street.


TUE 14 Jan Facebook, 10am


TTG St Lucia masterclass Learn all you need to know to sell the Caribbean island.


Thu 16 Jan Andaz, London


Celebrity Cruises’ Travel Agent Appreciation Awards The line honours and celebrates top-performing trade partners for their support in 2019.


13.01.2020 TRAVEL TRADE GAZETTE 7


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