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Navigating NDC Fares

Navigating NDC Fares

Navigating NDC Fares

Navigating NDC Fares

Learn how to save time and money by booking New Distribution Capabilities (NDC) airfares with American Airlines and United Airlines® in VAX VacationAccess.

Adding flights to vacation packages isn’t just a great way to give your customers more value and convenience. It’s also an effective means of boosting your sales, providing higher commissions per booking and bringing you closer to Elite or WAVEMAKER® status—and benefits—faster. Of course, not every client is going to want the same type of airfare. Some will want Exclusive Nonstop Vacation Flights. Then, there will be those who want the lowest fare.

That’s where NDC comes in.

What Is NDC?

Earlier this year, American Airlines and United Airlines® shifted their Value Content—which includes Basic Economy and promotional fares—from a legacy global distribution system (GDS) to New Distribution Capabilities (NDC) channels. NDC is now the only third-party distribution pathway you can use to access these airfares.

How Does NDC Impact My Reservations?

Basically, you can keep booking as you always have! 

Back when American first made the shift to NDC, ALG Vacations® and Trisept Solutions secured an NDC connection via a GDS so that our travel advisors would be able to continue booking low fares through VAX VacationAccess. Simply sign into VAX, and book American and United® fares as normal through Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations, Travel Impressions, or Blue Sky Tours. 

You’ll know you’re booking an NDC fare when you see the “NDC Fare Advisory” message appear next to the flight information. Click on the text for full directions on where to go for assistance with modifying your reservation if needed.

How Do NDC Fares Differ from Standard Fares?

NDC airfares are generally lower in price than non-NDC, or standard, fares. While many fares are in the Basic Economy category, they’re not restricted to it; you can find Main Cabin, Premium, Business, and First Class fares in NDC as well. In fact, unless you’re booking Basic Economy, you can reserve seat assignments on the carrier’s website once the fare is ticketed. 

The most important difference to remember, however, is that NDC fares are only exchangeable with other NDC fares as fare rules permit. NDC fares can’t be exchanged for a standard fare, and standard fare credit can’t be used to purchase an NDC fare (only another standard fare).

Although most NDC fares are published rates, you can find bulk options, too, just like with standard fares. Travel Protection Plus covers both types of fares as well, and deposit, cancellation, and commission policies are the same as for non-NDC.

When Do I Reach Out to the Airline vs. ALGV?

If you’re looking to make a name correction or flight exchange (to another NDC fare), visit us at You can click to call or click to chat—the fastest method—our Contact Center for assistance. 

For schedule changes, all notifications will come directly from American or United, so be sure to have the correct email address and phone number on each booking. (Pro tip: Regularly check the carrier’s website to stay on top of any changes just in case your client misses an alert.)

NDC technology isn’t going away, and neither is our connectivity. As more airlines continue to use NDC for more fares and add-ons, rest assured ALG Vacations will keep rolling out updates to VAX so that you never miss a booking—or a commission!

Round out your NDC know-how by downloading our “Facts You Need to Know About NDC” infographic and booking guide.

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