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With no new content agreement in place with American Airlines,
Sabre is offering agency customers an “incentive bonus promotion”
to help them recoup the $3.50 per-segment fees that the airline
began charging agencies Sept. 1.
The program is designed to engender support for Sabre’s Efficient
Access Solution (EAS) content program and to convince agencies to
stick with Sabre instead of shifting American bookings to other Web
sites or distribution systems. It is also seemingly designed to
shift share from American to EAS carriers.
Sabre told agencies that the EAS Promotional Bonus will provide
extra incentives for every booking made on EAS program carriers,
including AirTran, Alaska (including Horizon), Continental, Delta,
Northwest and US Airways (including America West).
“The EAS Promotional Bonus will be set at an amount so that, based
on your booking mix, the bonuses will combine with the incentives
you earn on AA bookings to fully offset the $3.50 service fees,
leaving you in a zero net pay situation for AA bookings,” Sabre
Excluding the bonus promotion, the Sabre EAS program generally
cuts incentives around 80 cents per segment. Agencies that book
American, which is not part of the EAS program, continue to receive
the higher pre-EAS contractual incentives from Sabre but are
subject to $3.50 fees that American intends to charge.
Agents who shift American bookings to other distribution sources
would be ineligible for the bonus program, Sabre stated. The bonus
does not apply to EAS carriers’ codeshare partners.
Recently, Amadeus also revealed it will temporarily reimburse
agencies for all segment fees incurred for booking American while
Amadeus continues its legal battle with the airline over the fees
and attempts to come to terms on a content agreement.
American has new content agreements in place with Galileo,
Worldspan, G2 SwitchWorks and Farelogix but has yet to reach
next-generation agreements with Sabre and Amadeus.
From Jan. 1-May 31, Mandarin Oriental is offering a
one-of-a-kind Fantastic Jet Set Journey package priced at
The package includes three nights’ accommodations in the
presidential suites at Mandarin hotels in Miami, New York and
Washington, D.C.; helicopter and limousine transfers; private jet
service for two on Blue Star Jets; and activities catered to the
In Miami, guests will experience a four-hour shopping spree with a
personal stylist, daily American breakfast, two days’ use of a
private beach cabana, spa treatments and more.
While in New York, clients will receive tickets to the
Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center Jazz and a Tony-award-winning
Broadway show, as well as a pre-theater dinner at Chef Nori Sugie’s
The stay in Washington, D.C., includes limousine tour of the city
and a private escorted tour of the National Gallery of Art.
AVC’s New Site
America’s Vacation Center is testing new private-label consumer
travel Web sites for home-based agents. The sites allow consumers
to browse or search for land packages and cruise vacations, find
prices and more.
“Our sites have been carefully modeled after our own consumer Web
site, designed to convert lookers into bookers,” said Brad
Anderson, co-president of America’s Vacation Center. “Our unique
technology allows us to integrate private label travel sites with
pricing and availability, commission tracking and customer
Free Miles With Thrifty
Clients can earn triple frequent-flyer miles with seven airlines
when booking a Thrifty car rental through Nov. 15. A two- to
seven-day rental booked via Thrifty’s Web site earns clients points
with participating airlines, including Alaska Airlines, American
Airlines, Continental, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United
Airlines and US Airways.
Clients must book a midsized or larger car; rentals must be booked
in advanced online and picked up by Nov. 15.
Agents who want a jumpstart for 2007 can attend Funjet
Vacations’ TransGlobal Vacations 2007 product shows.
During the shows, travel agents can gain first-hand knowledge of
product and technology enhancements, preview 2007 literature, meet
with suppliers from featured destinations and network with other
agents and representatives of Funjet Vacations and TransGlobal
In addition, Funjet Vacations will announce a grand-scale secret
incentive like never before, according to officials, plus give
travel agents the opportunity to win door prizes and trip
Agents can register online, and those who attend will receive 100
The schedule for next month is as follows: Salt Lake City, Oct. 3;
Denver, Oct. 4; and Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 5.
Improving Air Fare
Lufthansa has announced a partnership with The Peninsula Hotels
to offer air travelers world-renowned cuisine. Chefs Gordon Maybury
(The Peninsula New York), Terry Crandall (The Peninsula Chicago)
and Sean Hardy (The Peninsula Beverly Hills) recently joined
Lufthansa’s award-winning Connoisseurs on Board food and wine
program, available in first and business classes.
Chef Maybury will be featured November and December with dishes
inspired by his “Fives” restaurant menu, with fresh and healthy
cuisine. He will also create a new menu for May and June
Known for his Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisine, Crandall will
create the menu for January and February, as well as July and
August 2007. Chef Hardy will feature items from his award-
winning restaurant, the Belvedere, and his modern-American cuisine
will be available onboard March, April, September and
Focusing on healthy fare, each chef will integrate a dish from the
Naturally Peninsula menu.
A recipe card will be included in the flight menu for clients to
Ever wonder how air travel is affecting the environment? Well,
business travel agencies can now offer environmentally conscious
clients a look at the environmental impact of the flights they are
booking. The customizable greenhouse emission reports developed by
Sabre Travel Network are divided into four sections detailing the
number of air segments booked over a given period, the distance
flown, the relative amount of fuel burned, the relative number of
carbon dioxide produced and a breakdown of the other Greenhouse
“The greenhouse emission report adds a significant environmental
element to the overall service that travel management companies can
offer their corporate customers. It’s an unusual, interesting and
useful product, and it gives Sabre-connected TMCs an extra point of
differentiation when they go in to pitch for a company’s travel
business,” said Sabre’s Richard Adams.
Aussie AirPass Extended
Through Dec. 14, 2007, Qantas Airways’ popular Aussie AirPass is
offering four new Queensland cities. The Aussie AirPass includes
roundtrip economy-class air transportation, plus three qualifying
cities within Australia for one fare.
Clients can chose from 21 Australian cities (including Sydney,
Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Perth) in addition to
the newly added
cities of Rockhampton, Mackay, Gladstone and Gove. Fares start at
just $1,099, plus taxes and fees.
Altour has launched a new online product. AltourLeisure.com
allows agents and clients to browse pre-screened vacation offers;
search vacation offers by destination, special interest, specific
dates and price; and offers exclusive deals.
Land vacation bonuses include discounted car and hotel rates, food
and beverage credits and resort credits. Cruise bonuses include
discounted rates, shipboard credits and stateroom upgrades.
AltourLeisure.com also provides resources like world weather,
currency conversion and language translation.
By Kaitlyn Voyce