Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two down, two to go

British Airways has signed a three-year inventory distribution deal with Sabre TravelNetwork which will give the GDS's travel agent subscribers access to all of BA's fares. The inventory will be available to all Sabre connected-travel agents worldwide.

The new Sabre opt-in program guarantees travel agents in the UK and Ireland, through adjusted financial terms with Sabre, full access to the current BA content, including the complete range of published fares the airline sells through its own web site, any third-party website, and its own reservation offices.

Opt-in schemes, whereby agents pay a portion of the GDS fee in exchange for full access to content, are nothing new. The concept was madely widely known back in 2004, when BA was re-negotiating its previous GDS contracts. Sabre says this is the first time, however, that it has offered agents an "opt-in" programme.

BA reached a similar agreement with the Galileo distribution system a little more than two weeks ago, but not with its soon-to-be sister company, Worldpsan.

Amadeus, which is not typically a lagger, also has yet to secure a deal with Britain's flag carrier.

Now I'm not trying to start any rumours here or anything, but maybe, just maybe, the companies' failure thus far to reach an agreement is not actually BA's fault.

You see, since BA's previous GDS contracts expired on 28 February, the airline has been paying a handsome GDS "rack rate". Maybe the likes of Amadeus and Worldspan figure there's no harm in milking BA for a little while longer--you know, just till the end of the month.

Let's see what Friday brings....

Tricia Holly Davis, chief writer, Travolution

1 comment:

Amadeus said...

Hi Tricia,

I just want to pick up on your last point. The idea that we would delay discussions on any agreement in favour of a minor short-term gain is wrong. In any case, until 10 April the situation, in terms of booking fees, is the same for all GDSs.

Best regards,