Holy cow, can this really be happening? At The Beat Live
conference in Chicago last year, a comment was made that the corporate travel industry could be at a tipping point in regards to the future of distribution. Well folks I'm here to tell you, we've not only hit the tipping point but the wall is starting to crack. [more]
Reminds me of Ronald Reagan's great speech ... "Sabre/Travelport, tear down this wall." You get the idea. Just this week, we've got Delta announcing distribution deals with Farelogix
, US Airways filing anti-trust suits
, and next we'll have Arpey calling Gilliland's mother ugly.
In all seriousness, this feels a lot different from '07 when AA and Sabre last battled over their agreement. AA's got a lot of momentum on their side and technology has advanced significantly. Agencies now control their hardware, connectivity is easier over the internet, standards have been established for messaging, and Farelogix is getting its act together. I still don't think AA will disappear from the GDS, however odds are good that they will obtain the ability to push direct connects, be able to charge a "convenience" fee for booking through the GDS, and have more control over their content and who can sell it. On top of all that, every major airline is lining up to follow suit. As the ancient Chinese curse goes, "May we live in interesting times." You have to admit, it's getting really interesting.