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Spotnana builds deep direct integration to Southwest Airlines

October 11, 2023
By Sarosh Waghmar
Categories News

It’s our goal to provide our customers and partners with the most comprehensive travel content and the world’s best travel experiences. To achieve this for air travel, we’ve staffed an entire team dedicated to building the deepest direct integrations with the world’s largest airlines.

Today I’m excited to share that our team has built an exceptionally deep direct integration to Southwest Airlines. Our integration includes access to Southwest’s full content as well as a wealth of advanced functionality, including deferred ticketing (holding a flight), check-in, unused ticket management, end-to-end servicing, and exciting expanded capabilities for self-service flight changes.

Providing complete access to Southwest content

Southwest has always been a trailblazer in the travel industry, and they approach everything with this perspective in mind. In 2009, Southwest created a unique offer called EarlyBird Check-In, which automatically checks travelers into their flight 36 hours prior to departure. 

EarlyBird Check-In is invaluable to business travelers flying Southwest, because it secures an earlier boarding position, a better opportunity to select a preferred available seat, and earlier access to overhead bin storage for carry-on luggage. This ancillary is only available through a direct integration. 

Spotnana now allows travelers to purchase EarlyBird Check-In when it is available for a specific flight. In addition, our direct integration with Southwest includes full access to Southwest’s promotional offers, such as their twice annual Week of Wow discounted fares, which are not available through GDS providers.

Breaking new ground on self-service capabilities

We’re constantly working to bring more automation to each moment in the travel journey so travelers are never forced to call an agent to do something on their behalf. Our direct integration with Southwest has enabled us to make exciting progress in this area.

Through Southwest we now support the ability for a traveler who hasn’t purchased EarlyBird Check-In to check in for a flight through Spotnana 24 hours in advance of a departure. This is a great convenience for travelers, and it makes it easier for travel agents to provide excellent service around last minute flight changes.

We’ve also made a tremendous effort around automation this year, and I’m happy to report that 85% of the flight changes that take place on Spotnana’s Travel-as-a-Service platform can be handled by travelers on a self-service basis. Ultimately it’s our goal to get this number to 100%. Our deep integration with Southwest has enabled us to take another step in that journey. 

Southwest is now the first airline on Spotnana to support same-day flight changes on a self-service basis. Travelers have the ability to delete their boarding pass, which removes them from the list of checked-in passengers, and then complete a self-service exchange – all without talking to an agent.

As always, the features that are available to travelers are also immediately available to agents, since Spotnana provides a single platform that is used by both parties.

“Spotnana quickly succeeded in taking full advantage of the extensive capabilities available within our direct connect API. Through microservices and extensible data structures, Spotnana has built a modern tech stack that is ideally suited for future innovation.”

– Eric Hall, Director, B2B Channels & TMC Strategy at Southwest Airlines

Partnering for the future

Our deep integration with Southwest is another example of the power of building a modern, microservices-based infrastructure for the travel industry.

Southwest’s current API does not use NDC, and yet all of the innovations we’ve developed around self-service exchanges and cancellations, unused ticket management, deferred ticketing, end-to-end servicing, integrated real-time analytics, and more all work seamlessly. 

This is because we designed Spotnana from day one to work with any content source, and we use microservices instead of scripting tools to power automation.

We’re extremely grateful to Southwest for partnering with us to deliver new capabilities to our customers, and we’re excited about what the future may hold, now that a strong foundation for future innovation is in place.