Sabre enters American Airlines debate to ‘protect its interests’

Sabre enters American Airlines debate to ‘protect its interests’

Sabre has announced that it will downgrade its display of American Airlines fares in the latest development of the airline’s push for its own direct booking system. The GDS provider also revealed it would terminate its GDS agreement with the airline early in response to its ‘harmful actions’. “For a number of months, American Airlines has taken actions in an attempt to impose a costly, unproven and unnecessary system on agencies and corporations, including withholding fare content from Sabre,” it said in a statement. “We believe these actions are harmful to our agency and corporate customers, as well as consumers, making it harder and more costly to comparison shop. Sabre is taking actions to protect its interests and those of its customers by supporting airlines who value the transparency and efficiency of the proven system we provide.” Members of US organisation Business Travel Coalition agreed that AA’s move would affect the comparison of air and ancillary fares. “The stakes in this conflict are clear: either an improved airline industry and distribution marketplace centered around the consumer, or one that subordinates consumer interests to the self-serving motivations of individual airlines endeavoring to shift costs and impose their wills on consumers and the other participants in the travel industry,” commented Kevin Mitchell  chairman BTC. “Single-supplier direct connect proposals, like the one advanced by American Airlines, can significantly increase costs for all distribution participants and cause massive fragmentation of airfares and ancillary fees depriving consumers of the ability to compare the total cost of air travel options across all airlines.” According to BTC’s survey, 87 percent of TMCs believe the move from American Airlines is in attempt to secure high fares and target consumers directly. A total of 98 percent of respondents did not support the Direct Connect strategy. 

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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