Reducing Airline Type B messaging costs

Type B messaging can be expensive

It may be only a small item on the overall IT bill but for some companies, Type B can be a big expense.

Type B was developed in days when automated global messaging was in it’s infancy. It was a brilliant and efficient way of sending small but information rich content between reservation systems and airline hosts. However, it was designed primarily as a ‘store and forward’ process that made use of the technology of the day (1950’s).  Today, Type B is still forwarded around the globe in a similar way.

The Airline industry still uses Type B

Surprisingly today it still exists, mainly because the industry hasn’t found a way of replacing this efficient mechanism. Even today new communications servers and applications are using Type B to communicate to the global industry.  Nevertheless, airlines tend to leave Type B alone as it’s not really high in their IT priorities.  A key aspect of Type B is in reservations and seat booking.  This was the cornerstone of Type B in the early days and served as a guarantee of a booking between different airlines host systems.  This still exists today, but Type B is not as essential as it once was.

Can the Airline industry use newer technologies?

Collectively the industry could change and replace Type B but it would take a cohesive effort which is unlikely to happen. Typically moving Type B would involve an agreement between core airlines to move away from ‘store and forward’ to a direct messaging system would save money and improve the effectiveness,

Nevertheless, apart from a radical shift in technology, there are simple ways to reduce your Type B.
Thinking about simple things like ensure addresses are not redundant, checking out Type B routing and implementing ‘bucket’ addresses are some of the easy things to do. Even swapping suppliers can help.

There are many more aspects to check and doing so will reduce your Type B. If you would like to know more drop us a message at

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