| SPRK is a web-based, agency desktop tool that is designed to support multiple sources of content, including but not limited to airline Direct Connect content.
SPRK supports all standard air shopping, pricing, booking and servicing functionality plus much more. We encourage you to read more about SPRK or even better, check out our series of demo videos that will give you more detail on available SPRK functionality.
Does SPRK utilize airline Direct Connect?
Yes, SPRK facilitates agency access to airline Direct Connect.
A Direct Connect is a modern, XML-based connection to the airline reservation system (not the airline web site) that enables travel agents to access an expanded and more personalized set of airline products and services than which is typically available using legacy (Edifact) connections.
What Direct Connect airlines can I access via SPRK?
Currently there are twelve airlines for which Direct Connects can be sourced through SPRK (however depending on your agency’s arrangements, you may not have access to all of the airlines).
Can I have access to my GDS through SPRK?
Yes. SPRK is a multi-source desktop tool that allows for the optional integration of GDS content along with Direct Connect content. Permission is required from your GDS[s] for GDS-Integration, and custom configurations may require an integration fee.
How much does it cost to use SPRK?
The SPRK software, and 24/7 support, is available to sponsored travel agencies at no charge.
How do I get access to SPRK?
The SPRK software is currently available to travel agency customers approved or “sponsored” by one or more direct connect airlines.
If you are interested in using SPRK to access the American Airlines direct connect, you can sign up through AA’s Direct Connect Program.
As additional airlines launch sign-up portals, we will post these here.
What support is available for SPRK?
Registered users of SPRK have access to the SPRK Agent Portal which includes latest product updates, documentation and reference materials. If you are a registered SPRK user, you can access the Portal from this website by clicking the Login button.
In addition, SPRK offers 24/7 call center to registered users via email and phone. You will be provided these details after signing up for SPRK.
I’m a Booking Builder user. Is Booking Builder integrated with SPRK?
Booking Builder has integrated to the American Airlines direct connect, allowing users of its product to shop and book American Airlines direct connect. These agency users are also provided the SPRK desktop tool which provides additional PNR servicing functionality beyond what is available in Booking Builder (e.g. exchange, refund, split PNR, and much more).
Agency users who sign up for the American Airlines direct connect, who indicate they are/will be using Booking Builder, will be provided with access to both the SPRK desktop tool as well as instructions on how to sign up with Booking Builder.
My GDS pays me a segment incentive and this solution does not, how can I make this up?
The SPRK desktop tool is separate from the AA Direct Connect. As a technology provider, Farelogix is not involved in the commercial arrangements among travel agencies, GDS or sponsoring direct connect airlines. We encourage you to discuss the value of direct connect with your sponsoring direct connect airline.
How do I manage my existing profiles? And new ones?
There are a couple of options for managing profiles. One option is to adopt the profile management system that is included with SPRK. To do this, you must either re-enter profile information or do a one-time import from an existing profile database such as the GDS or other 3rd party or proprietary databases. Note: GDS and 3rd party databases may require permission or authorization to perform data import.
Alternatively, many SPRK users elect to use a third party profile solution, or develop their own profile integration to SPRK. SPRK’s web services API includes all required web services commands to achieve custom integration by the agency’s IT department or, often, a third party profile provider. We encourage you to learn more about the Farelogix API.
How will SPRK integrate with my Mid-Office systems?
The SPRK software does not have to be integrated to your mid-office; however your mid-office does likely require integration to the airline Direct Connect Platform (that sits behind SPRK) in order to access reservations to perform various QC and other functions. All Farelogix Direct Connects use an industry standard XML schema published by Open AXIS Group.
For agencies that have custom in-house mid-office systems, the Farelogix API is available at no charge for custom web services development. We encourage you to learn more about the Farelogix API.
If you use a third party provider for your mid-office, we encourage you to contact them and inquire about the status of their integration with the Farelogix Direct Connect Platform. A growing number of third party mid-office providers are integrating to the Direct Connect Platform, as evidenced by the list of providers in the American Airlines Direct Connect Technology Pavilion.
How will SPRK integrate with my Back-Office systems?
The SPRK software does not have to be integrated to your back-office; however your back-office does likely require integration to the airline Direct Connect Platform (that sits behind SPRK) in order to allow for data to be available for your back-office system.
Farelogix produces a unique back-office format – MIR-FLX, which is available as a stand-alone application or, for SPRK users, can be accessed from the SPRK desktop.
MIR-FLX is an XML file that can be easily converted to any specific format as required by back-office programs. This can be accomplished in a couple of different ways:
• Your back-office provider, or agency technical department, transforms the Farelogix XML to whatever format is needed. Given the flexibility and ease of use of web services and XML, we would expect any back-office system to be easily able to consume the Farelogix XML.
• Farelogix will do whatever data transformation is required by your back-office system at no charge. To proceed with this option, please ask your back-office provider to send us the specifications for their desired format and we will map our file to that format for you.
To learn more about MIR-FLX, check out the MIR-FLX demo video.
Is the reporting processed through ARC/IATA?
Farelogix is ARC and BSP-certified. SPRK users follow the same process as is used today with ARC/IATA.
How are purchased ancillary services reported?
Shop and book optional services (unique per carrier) and then issue the corresponding document (this is either an EMD reported to ARC/IATA or in some cases direct settlement via credit card – depends on the carrier).
To see examples of how merchandising works in the SPRK desktop tool, check out the Merchandising demo video
Am I still able to book codeshares and interlines?
Yes, SPRK supports interline and codeshare itineraries.
What about Non-Air Content?
The SPRK desktop is configured to access extensive Car and Hotel content for shopping/booking via technology partners (CAR - CarTrawler, Hotel - Alliance Reservation Network).
To learn more about Hotel and Car content available in SPRK, check out the Non-Air demo video.
How do agencies using SPRK receive/collect Hotel and Car Commissions?
Agency commissions are handled exclusively by the respective Hotel and Car content providers. A summary is below:
Agencies that book hotel through the Alliance Reservation Network will receive hotel commission from the property in a similar manner as with your GDS. You may contact Alliance Reservation Network (ARN) to arrange to have high margin content such as merchant content made available to you. You may also contact ARN to provide special discounts on hotel products so that you will always get the correct negotiated rates for your clients.
Regarding car rental, when you book a rental vehicle the commission earned will be sent to SPRK administration, and from there, it will be distributed to your agency.
What browsers does SPRK support?
- Microsoft IE version 7.0 or higher;
- Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or greater;
- Apple Safari
- Google Chrome
How can I make a suggestion for SPRK functionality?
We are delighted to hear your feedback and suggestions on SPRK! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks in advance for your input
Can I have a private demo of SPRK?
The SPRK Team is currently managing a high volume of inquiries so at this time we cannot schedule private demonstration sessions. We encourage you to review the demo videos that describe several key pieces of SPRK functionality, at x as well as the documentation on the Help tab of this website. If you still have questions, send us an email and we will do our best to respond, either directly to you or via an update to this FAQ list. Thank you for your interest in SPRK!