US Airways made all of its Web fares available to Sabre-connected
agents in a deal Sabre also is offering to other carriers,
according to a Travel Management Daily
Under a three-year agreement between the airline and the GDS,
Sabre is cutting its GDS fee to the airline by 10% and freezing the
fee at that level for three years, US Airways officials said.
In exchange, US Airways is providing Sabre with virtually all of
its fares. The only Web-fare exception will be opaque fares in
which the airline is not named until the ticket is booked, as is
the case with Priceline and Hotwire.
US Airways is talking to other GDSs about striking similar
deals, said Ben Baldanza, the airline’s senior vice president of
marketing and planning. Sabre, meanwhile, is making this type of
deal available to any carrier under a new offering it calls Direct
Connect Availability Three-Year Option, of which US Airways is the
Sabre said the deal guarantees Sabre access to all published
fares, promotions and services of a participating airline and
commits the carrier to a three-year term at the highest level of
participation in the GDS, in exchange for an established booking
All content will be made available through all Sabre- connected
channels, both online and offline.
ASTA immediately labeled the move “a major breakthrough.”
President Richard Copland said it has long been ASTA’s contention
that travel agents have access to all fares.
“The very existence of this program contradicts the argument
airlines have made in the past that more ubiquitous distribution of
Web fares would lead to their demise,” he said. “Now, in US
Airways, we have a carrier that has realized it can sell airline
seats efficiently by offering travel agents access to all its fares
through the computer reservation systems and still maintain control
of its yield.”