Posts in the category "GDS"


The Difference Between CRS and GDS in the Travel Industry

Earlier I talked about the structure of the travel industry. We saw how the industry can be divided into five parts: Suppliers, inventory management, distribution, sales and market.

Today I would like to just focus on the distribution and the inventory management and therefore on the differences between CRS (central reservation systems) and GDS (global distribution systems).

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Travel Technology for Dummies: What is the difference between booking, waitlisting, ticketing, codeshare and interlining?

Travel Technology for Dummies: Booking, Waitlist, Ticket, Codeshare & Interlining

Complicated topics explained in a simple way: What is the difference between booking, waitlisting, ticketing, codeshare and interlining?

Everybody who has ever traveled has come across those terms, but have you ever wondered what they all mean? This article of the series Travel Technology for Dummies will shed some light on what it means if somebody has a booking, is waitlisted or actually has a ticket (or an interline ticket). Continue reading 

What is a Passenger Service System (PSS)?

Travel Technology for Dummies: What Is a Passenger Service System?

Complicated topics explained in a simple way: Last time I explained what a booking reference or PNR is. Today let us talk about the Passenger Service System (PSS).

The PSS usually comprises of the Central Reservation System (CRS), in other words booked inventory, an airline inventory system (free inventory) and a departure control system (DCS). It is basically the technology an airline needs: Continue reading 

What Is a Booking Reference or PNR?

Travel Technology for Dummies: What Is a Booking Reference or PNR?

Complicated topics explained in a simple way: Today let us look at booking references or PNRs.

What is a booking reference or PNR? A booking reference, also referred to as a PNR or Record Locator, is the airline’s internal identifier for your flight booking within their computer system. It is generated by the airline’s computer system, not by the travel agent or GDS. If your flights involve different airlines, there are often separate PNRs for each carrier for use within their respective systems, but you may be given only the ticketing airline’s PNR. Continue reading 

US Airways Sabre Trial: No Winner – only Losers!

US Airways Sabre Verdict: No Winner – only Losers!

Last week US Airways (now American Airlines) and Sabre made their final pleas to the jury – the five-year-plus antitrust case draw to a close. My prediction became true: There is no winner.

The verdict is in. American Airlines will receive $ 5.1 million in damages – 11.5 percent of what they’d sought. The battle will go on, Sabre will file a motion or appeal, and we are back to square one. Bottom line, attorneys aside, no winner only be losers. The money awarded will hardly cover the expenses of this lawsuit. [UPDATE 3/7/17: Even though the Award is tripled according to Texas law, US Airways disclosed legal costs exceeded $ 122 million ($ 84.5M in attorney fees, $ 36.6M in attorney expenses & almost $ 0.9M in statutory costs), while Sabre estimated their legal fees between $ 35-$ 50 million]. Will airlines now be free to negotiate any deals they may want? I hardly doubt it.

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Going GUI: The Cost of Multi-Source Agent Desktops

Did GDSs pay $ 1.2 billion to avoid multi-source agent desktops? And how much does it cost to develop multi-content booking tools?

Graphical travel user interfaces (GUIs) such as agent desktops, online booking tools and mobile interfaces have been around for a while by now. While they are pretty successful in the online booking space with an adoption at around 90 percent, they are still lagging behind with agents who love their cryptic screen or “green screen”, how this terminal access is called by insiders referring to the ancient IBM 3270 terminals. Continue reading 


Let Me Stop You Right There: Lufthansa Defends DCC Decision Against VDR Criticism

After the VDR criticized Lufthansa’s GDS fee in an open letter on the 9th of July, the company replied politely but firmly and explained why the DCC (Distribution Cost Charge) might be important for the future of the travel industry.

“German companies and their business travelers (…) are opposed to the sales strategy you have announced”, the VDR reproachfully started its letter to Jens Bischof, member of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board.  “The introduction of your DCC involves a fundamental unilateral change to the system – those that fail to comply pay a high price, with a surcharge of 16 Euros per ticket.”  Continue reading 


Is Lufthansa Serious Or Just Negotiating? Why a Few Direct Connect Bookings Will Save Millions

If you were following the travel news last week, you have probably already heard about the big Lufthansa news. Starting on the 1st of September, all airlines of the Lufthansa group are going to add a 16€ fee to every booking made via GDS.

The “Distribution Cost Charge” affects Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Airlines, but will not be added to tickets purchased through their own website, airline ticket counters or service centers. Continue reading 


IPOs and Fierce Competition Force GDSs to Withdraw From the Battlefield

The historical development of travel is based on human mobility. In the beginning this travel was done for practical reasons, such as the search for places with food and water and escaping from natural catastrophes, but it quickly grew to include travels for cultural reasons.

In the time of the ancient Romans and Greeks, excursions to particular events, such as the Olympic Games and all manner of competitions, was a routine ritual of the rich upper class. Continue reading 


Amadeus Secures Southwest Airlines Domestic Contract

This Monday, Southwest Airlines announced to have selected Amadeus as the sole provider of its reservation system. This is a deal that had been long in the making.

In 2012, Southwest Airlines had picked Amadeus to build it a new system to handle international reservations and itineraries and to use Altea technology for the international part of its system, whereas their domestic reservation technology was based on a modified Sabre product which has been limiting to the Airline.

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GDS Amadeus to Acquire German IT Company I-FAO

At the beginning of this month Amadeus announced the acquisition of German IT company I-FAO. I-FAO developed Cytric, a leading online corporate booking tool which is already used by major European and international companies like IKEA, Accenture, ADP, Siemens or Canon Europe.

Amadeus already fortified its sales presence as the leading leisure travel sales platform in Germany with the 2006 acquisition of TravelTainment (the primary leisure travel internet booking engine in Germany) and is now yet again adding to its suit of products another corporate booking tool (Cytric) right next to their own corporate booking tool, E-Travel (which is also supported by PASS Consulting’s XX/1). Continue reading 


Recent DOJ Investigations – Protection or Innovation Blocker?

Europeans seemingly are the only ones who have recognized an oligopoly of the GDS’s that we should not continue to strengthen. Only further expansion of regulations and continuous monitoring of the GDS’s can prohibit their sway over users and technology providers such as ourselves.

Although I do not know exactly what Europe’s Competition Commission does on a day to day basis, but at least they know when not to get involved.

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If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Why We Need IATA Resolution 787 NDC

I could not read today’s ‘The Beat’ article contemplating about the real benefits of NDC, without a grin on my face. I guess we can all agree: The attitude, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is the enemy of innovation.

Throughout history people have been striving for innovation of life style that helped to make our lives easier and more comfortable. If it weren’t for this little rebellious spark in some people we would still listen to our favorite Vinyl record instead of the convenience of having our favorite music at our fingertips.

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Is IATA´s NDC Really the Bad Guy?

Last time we introduced you to the New Distribution Capability (NDC), also known as the Resolution 787, which was adopted during IATA’s Passenger Services Conference in Abu Dhabi in October 2012.

We already stated our opinion, that the excitement regarding the NDC is mainly “much ado about nothing”, as Shakespeare already titled his comedic play, which was published in 1623. Now we would like to go a little bit further into detail and clarify our position on the main arguments of the discussion about the NDC.

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Ancillary Fee Disclosure – Even Airlines Will Benefit

On their journey towards deciding on whether or not to implement governmental regulation for displaying ancillary fees throughout the whole airline ticket booking process the Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently consulting several different industry players.

Sabre recently demonstrated their pricing policy at a hearing hosted by the DOT. Their travel agent desktop solution enables customers to book tickets as well as other ancillary services which make all carriers’ fairs and fees comparable.

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GDSs, Airlines and Ancillary Services: The DOT Defers Once Again its Decision

As reported by The Beat Blog, The U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) once more postponed to November 2012, its decision on whether requiring or not airlines to distribute their ancillary service content through the Global Distribution Systems companies (GDSs).

DOT’s spokesman confirmed: “We intend to issue our new proposed airline consumer rule late fall of this year. Because there are complex issues being addressed in this rule making, additional time is needed for this analysis.” Continue reading 


GDS and Third-Party Technology Providers: Multi-Source Agent Point-of-Sale

Travelport has Universal Desktop, Amadeus has Amadeus One, Sabre has Red Workplace. These GDSs are not the only providers of point-of-sale (POS) applications, far from it.

While most of GDSs kept traditional tools, innovative third-party technology providers such as PASS Consulting Corporation (PASS), TRX or G2 SwitchWorks – the last two sold their technologies already – released new POS desktops and early introduced new technologies that would soon satisfy travel agencies’ needs: multi-GDS connection and graphical user front-ends.  Continue reading 


DOT Defers Its Decision on Requiring Airlines to Display Ancillary Fees In GDS

The public battle between airlines and GDS about direct connects in general and the display of ancillary services in particular has taken its next step when the DOT finally examined whether airlines should be required to make ancillary services data available through the GDSs.

An official decision on this topic would have a dramatic impact on both. airlines, GDSs and the consumers. And since there is at this point not enough information to decide whether requiring the airlines to provide their ancillary services data to the GDSs leads to more transparency for the consumer, the DOT decided to defer its decision. Continue reading 


Delta Airlines Enters Into Partnership With Farelogix to Use Direct Connects

Ever since American Airlines started to distribute its content through direct connects, there have been discussions whether others would follow, who would win the direct-connect-GDS-battle and if there is really a value for the consumer in such a direct connect strategy.

Recently, Delta Air Lines started its own direct-connect strategy in partnership with Farelogix. According to their plan, Online Travel Agencies and Travel Management Companies will then be able to access Delta’s full-content through a Delta-Farelogix platform, thus bypassing the GDSs and saving additional costs.

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