Sabre Travel Network(R), the world’s leading provider of high-performance solutions for the travel industry, picked up an Innovation Award for its Air Merchandising Suite at the annual Business Travel and Meetings Show in London last week. The prestigious award culminates a noteworthy three-month period, with Sabre earning recognition from prominent travel industry publications and global organizations on five different occasions.
Leading the Industry on Developing and Implementing Merchandising Technology
The Innovation Award pays tribute to Sabre’s leadership in deploying air merchandising solutions that help agents and corporations manage new airline fees and services. Sabre is the first and only global distribution system (GDS) to integrate merchandising capabilities into the travel agency desktop, with cascading benefits for airlines, corporations, travellers and travel agencies. Airlines using Sabre’s Air Merchandising solutions generate millions of dollars of additional revenue, while travel agents are empowered to efficiently shop, book and service an increasingly diverse array of products and services in the agency workflow.
Sabre’s Air Merchandising Suite has three key components:
• Sabre Attribute-Based Shopping: An industry-first air total pricing solution — airlines, agents and consumers use Sabre Attribute-Based Shopping to offer and consider a range of ancillary options — such as seat selection, baggage charges, onboard meals, etc. — at the time of search. These are then applied to the search, delivering a filtered result and enabling agents and travellers to compare pricing options from a single carrier or across multiple airlines. Sabre Attribute-Based Shopping is a critical part of a successful e-Commerce strategy for airlines, allowing them to target customers with the products and services that meet their needs.
Sabre Flight Fee Explorer, the company’s latest air merchandising enhancement that helps agents navigate the evolving airline fee structure, features a web-based fee calculator tool that quickly compares ancillary fees charged across various airlines without having to check multiple sites. Launched in December 2009 and available globally, the solution provides more transparency on the total cost of airfare plus ancillary services, enabling agencies to efficiently inform clients of anticipated total costs at the point of sale. Flight Fee Explorer is the first of several air merchandising and shopping enhancements on tap for 2010.
• Airline Unbundling: Sabre’s unbundling technology allows airlines to differentiate by selling select products and services in addition to the fare. Several prominent airlines, including Midwest Airlines, United Airlines, and WestJet, use Sabre’s paid-seat capabilities today, enabling agents to book premium seats via the Sabre GDS.
• Airline Bundling (Branded Fares): Sabre’s Branded Fares solution efficiently displays options from airlines that choose to create fare families, offering specific products and services at different prices. Airlines such as Qantas use the solution to market via travel agency and corporate online channels.
“As recently as 2007, air merchandising was limited to a small number of carriers. Today, it’s a strategic cornerstone for many airlines around the world as they seek new revenue streams in ways that differentiate their product,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “We saw this trend emerge a few years ago, and invested significantly in solutions that support airline revenue goals, as well as the agency community’s need to efficiently sell these new fees and services within the agency workflow. It’s an honour that the industry has recognised our commitment and passion to supporting air merchandising for all travel constituents.”
Prominent Travel Industry Organizations and Publications Honour Sabre in 2009
The Innovation Award is one of a string of honours recently received by Sabre Travel Network for its ongoing leadership in the travel technology arena.
World’s Leading Travel Distribution Provider
· World Travel Awards, November 2009
Best Global Distribution System
· Travel Weekly, December 2009
Best Travel Technology Provider
· Performance Media Group, December 2009
Best Reservation/GDS System
· Recommend magazine, December 2009