Within weeks of one another, Worldspan and Sabre introduced dynamic
packaging tools that let agents automatically bundle together air,
hotel and car-rental components into easily bookable itineraries.
The companies tout their respective new products as tools to
enhance agents’ customer service as well as their own bottom lines,
since agents can easily mark up the packages they assemble.
Worldspan’s new product, NeatAgent, is the result of a joint
venture with the Neat Group, a Texas-based company whose dynamic
packaging technology powers United Airlines’ UnitedEscapes Web
site. (United helped fund the startup in 1999.)
It offers agents real-time availability and pricing for
wholesale products throughout the United States, including all
major U.S. carriers, more than 3,250 hotels and 570 car-rental
NeatAgent also is integrated into Worldspan’s Go reservations
platform, and agents can seamlessly incorporate their markup before
sharing price information with their clients.
Meanwhile, Sabre unveiled Sabre Trip Shopping, a similar product
but with a twist it gives agents a very broad choice of package
possibilities to present to their clients.
When an agent executes a trip search, Sabre Trip Shopping
generates up to 30 itineraries and breaks the results down into
three categories: My Ideal Trips shows results that closely match
the client’s preferences; Upgrade Your Trip suggests ways the agent
can upsell the client on slightly higher-priced offerings; and
Lowest Priced Trips lists money-saving options for the client, such
as lower-cost accommodations or economy rental-car options in place
of luxury rentals.
Sabre Trip Shopping searches negotiated and published fares, as
well as net-rate hotel inventory culled from Sabre’s recently
launched preferred-hotel program, which offers negotiated
blocked-room deals with 600 properties in the United States and
will add overseas properties later this year.
Like Worldspan’s NeatAgent, Sabre Trip Shopping requires no
additional software it runs on Sabre’s eVoya Webtop platform.
Agencies that offer their clients Web-booking capabilities can also
integrate Sabre Trip Shopping into their sites.
There is one difference: Unlike Worldspan’s NeatAgent, Sabre
Trip Shopping does not allow agents to mark up the packages sold
within the application itself, so agents simply receive their
normal commissions for each trip component.
To see a demonstration of Worldspan NeatAgent, visit
www.neatagent.com. For more details on Sabre Trip Shopping, visit
www.sabre. com, under Travel Agency Products and Services.