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June 12, 2013
While the rest of the business world moved to graphical user interfaces (GUIs) decades ago, the GDSs of today, descendants of airline computer res systems that were technology pioneers half a century ago, are still rooted in the world of the so-called green screen.
IATA has created a New Distribution Capability Demonstrator, a nonfunctional demo of how air travel could be presented in an NDC-enabled environment. NDC is an IATA-led initiative to develop an XML-based language standard for travel agent distribution, for the purpose of selling a wider range of airline products and services through agents.
IATA said it sought input from travel agencies and travel management companies in creating the demo, which was shown at its Annual General Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, over the weekend.
Foie Gras Now Served in Coach Class as Airlines Spice Up Profits
The days of bland economy-class food are numbered, with Europe’s full-service carriers dishing up gourmet menus reminiscent of the golden age of air travel as they look for ways to squeeze more revenue out of passengers.
What NDC-Style Flight Booking Might Look Like for Agents
What will NDC-style booking look like for travel agents, especially ones managing corporate accounts? Tnooz is posting below some screenshots that suggest an answer. These images are not supplied by IATA. IATA is not building desktop applications; it is just pushing the NDC. The flight-booking images below were instead supplied by one of the companies that could benefit from the adoption of the NDC: Farelogix, a Miami technology company.
The Travel Industry Maverick Fighting to Change How We Buy Airline Tickets
Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson learned persistence and salesmanship from the imperfect contents of a blue suitcase that he lugged door-to-door in his Elmira, New York neighborhood at age 8 with his dog, Lucky, at his side.
With Amadeus Deal, AA Has XML Connectivity with Two GDSs
American Airlines’ new long-term global distribution agreement with Amadeus means the carrier now has XML connectivity with two GDSs, enabling subscribers of each to sell American’s full range of fares, plus a la carte products such as Preferred Seats and Main Cabin Extra.
IATA New Distribution Capability Controversy Continues: Farelogix Submits Comments to DOT
Farelogix Inc. reported on May 6 that it submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on IATA’s Resolution 787 New Distribution Capability before the May 1 deadline on public comment. As would be expected, Farelogix (long a supporter of NDC) came out in favor of the NDC and against the public critique of the potential XML-based “shared language” of booking.
Negative NDC Comments Flooded DOT As Deadline Neared
As the May 1 deadline approached for filing comments on IATA’s request for Transportation Department approval of Resolution 787, the DOT was flooded with submissions from travel companies and organizations expressing outright opposition or doubts about IATA’s plans.
Most of the comments in support of the resolution were submitted fairly soon after IATA’s request was made. Those expressions of support came primarily from airlines, airline associations, ARC and ATPCO.
Airlines in Transition: What Keeps CEOs Awake at Night?
Airline CEOs Christoph Mueller of Aer Lingus, Willie Walsh of IAG, Dave Barger of JetBlue and Montie Brewer (formerly) of Air Canada were joined by James Davidson of technology company Farelogix. Topics discussed included how to balance a wide range of issues, the impact of industry consolidation, the acceptance of return on capital as a key measure and why restructuring is enjoyable.
Fear of Unknown Grows Rampant as IATA Pushes Its NDC Initiative
IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) has suddenly become the travel industry’s bogeyman, with opponents convinced that it will end GDS/agent distribution as we know it, while proponents insist there’s nothing under the bed but a benign standards initiative that will bring efficiency to the way computer systems talk to each other.
AA Exec Seeks to Shed Light on Direct Connect, NDC
An American Airlines executive sought to clarify the issues of his carrier’s direct-connect strategy and to IATA’s New Distribution Capability. At UATP’s annual Airline Distribution Conference in Miami, Cory Garner, managing director of sales operations and distribution for American, compared the direct-connect strategy to the introduction of high-definition television a few years ago.
Travelport Will Facilitate NDC Distribution, But It Still Has ‘Unanswered Questions’
Travelport said it will work with airlines that want to distribute products via IATA’s New Distribution Capability schema – but it won’t partake in pilot programs for NDC anytime soon because its production workload is too heavy.
Travelport’s recent moves – agreeing to connect with American Airlines via its API and the launch of a platform that enables airlines to connect with travel agents via the method of their choice – would seem to be in sync with NDC, at least in spirit.
One Step Closer to a Better Way to Sell Airline Tickets
As you know, I was in Dublin last week for the CAPA Airlines in Transition conference. But it was Travelport that brought me out to the conference (paid for flights and hotel) because they rolled out their new Merchandising Platform the night before. What the heck is a merchandising platform and why should you care? Well, the most immediate benefit is the ability to compare and then book easyJet and legacy airlines side by side. But this is just the beginning.
Airlines to Provide WiFi, Extra Legroom & More Tailored Services for Frequent Travellers
Buying tickets from airline websites or price-comparison websites that hook up with airline servers is usually a picnic. Travellers know how much they must pay: total airfare, even the breakup (taxes, airport charges etc), and what for: additional services such as access to airport lounges, speedy boarding, onboard WiFi and the like.
Priceline’s Deals with United and AA Thwart GDS Distribution
Priceline, the world’s largest online travel agency (OTA), last week announced a direct-connect deal with United Airlines that upends the revenue model that has served as the foundation of airline distribution since the late 1990s. In effect, Priceline is walking away from the segment fees that GDSs pass on to travel retailers for bookings made through the GDSs.
The settlement agreement that brought an end to American Airlines’ antitrust lawsuit against Travelport is “plain evidence that an airline and a GDS can come together and work to deliver something that is good,” according to Cory Garner, American’s managing director of sales operations and distribution.
Priceline Signs Up for United’s Farelogix-Supported Solution
Priceline has announced a fresh long-term deal with United Airlines, with “plans to implement the United Technology Application, powered and supportedby Farelogix, as the primary connectivity between the two parties.” Priceline is plugging in to the United-Farelogix platform to access the airline’s schedules, fares, and ancillary products. A couple of months ago, the United-Farelogix platform first began booking tickets travel agencies and corporations. United plans to still provide its content to third parties through the GDSs, but “direct-connect” partners like Priceline will receive robust information.
Travelport Breaks Ranks and Agrees to Integrate AA Direct Connect
The Travelport /American Airlines announcement marks a watershed moment in airline travel distribution. Over the last six months the two camps seemed to be solidifying their positions. On the airline side the purchase of the Open Axis Group schema by ATPCO followed by the IATA’s announcement that their New Distribution Capability (NDC) would embrace the same Open Axis Group standard, aligned the airline distribution approach around a single methodology (created by Farelogix). The stated goal of the airlines is to gain more flexibility to offer customized products and services to individual travelers based on their preferences and value.
Airlines and Travel Websites Face Off Over Flight Perks
Behind the ease of booking a flight seat online lies mounting tension between two industries. Airlines are increasingly moving toward offering customers bundles of travels perks, everything from extra legroom to pre-boarding privileges to more frequent-flier points, for additional fees. In an industry with low margins, airlines are trying to eke out revenue by differentiating their bundled services.
Farelogix Shows How Booking a Flight Should Work, and It’s Excellent
As you know from my trip report last week, I was in Miami attending Farelogix media day. But what is it that Farelogix actually does? The company’s end goal is to give airlines the freedom to sell tickets the way they want. Ultimately, this will make it easier for travelers to buy tickets with the options they want. In fact, Farelogix has put together a system that would make buying tickets much better today… if there weren’t so many roadblocks preventing it from being implemented.
Air Travel Distribution Should Be More Like Amazon, Claims Farelogix
Distribution and optimization technology company Farelogix believes its next generation airline e-commerce ‘gateway’ can bring the industry out of the “Mad Men Era” and into the 21st Century.
Global distribution systems (GDSs) hamper airlines’ efforts to upsell premium options such as inflight Wi-Fi and premium economy seating, Farelogix suggested last week at a media event hosted by the firm in Miami, Florida. Farelogix, which counts American Airlines among its customers and is clearly seeking to drum up further business, warned that the industry must “change or die”. In short, it must offer a user experience akin to that which consumers have grown accustomed to, such as on Amazon or Google, claimed the firm.
Farelogix has pulled together several of its key products to create the Airline Commerce Gateway, a single platform designed to enable airlines to deliver dynamic content to all distribution channels, from websites to kiosks to GDSs. “This is not an either/or,” CEO Jim Davidson said. “This doesn’t replace the GDS. The technology exists to accommodate all the distribution channels.”
Farelogix has announced the launch of the Airline Commerce Gateway, a comprehensive airline distribution technology platform enabling airlines to deliver content, including custom-tailored product offers to travelers through multiple distribution outlets and customer touchpoints.
The platform, an airline-controlled commerce environment combines five components: XML Host Connectivity (Direct Connect), an independent pricing engine (Virtual Fare Store), a versatile merchandising system, a distribution rules engine and an XML API (Gateway API). The Gateway serves as an airline's delivery vehicle for customers shopping in both direct and indirect channels, including mobile devices and kiosks.
Farelogix's New Airline Distribution Platform Includes Video Capability
Farelogix has introduced an airline distribution platform that enables detailed product differentiation, right down to videos of premium seats and other ancillary services. The platform, called the Airline Commerce Gateway, also holds the promise of providing travel agencies with the ability to easily comparison shop ancillary services as well as ticket prices.
The Farelogix Gateway combines Farelogix’s existing products, merchandising, pricing and distribution management into a single integrated platform that is mobile-enabled.
AA: ‘Real Chance’ of a GDS Direct Connect User This Year
Responding to characterizations by The Beat founder Jay Campbell that American Airlines' Direct Connect is a "walking corpse," the carrier's managing director of sales and distribution Cory Garner evoked Mark Twain: "The rumors of the death of Direct Connect have been greatly exaggerated."
Garner via a taped interview shown this week to attendees at a Farelogix media event here claimed that Direct Connect not only has a pulse, but "there's a real chance that at some point in 2013 you'll see one or more GDSs that are able to get over the hump with American to find out what's the best way to get that technology in place and what's the best way to get that content into the hands of the corporate customer."
Farelogix Debuts New Airline Commerce Gateway Distribution Platform
Farelogix unveiled Airline Commerce Gateway, an airline distribution technology platform that enables airlines to efficiently deliver content, including custom-tailored product offers, to travelers across multiple distribution outlets and customer touchpoints.
Powered by the Farelogix’s flagship distribution technology, the Gateway’s airline-controlled commerce environment combines five essential components: XML Host Connectivity (Direct Connect), an independent pricing engine (Virtual Fare Store), a highly versatile merchandising system (FMS2), a distribution rules engine (Distribution Manager), and an XML API (Gateway API). As an integrated solution, the Gateway serves as an airline’s delivery vehicle for customers shopping in both direct and indirect channels, including mobile devices and kiosks.
WestJet's director, distribution strategy, d'Arcy Monaghan said: "With this agreement, we are excited to offer an enhanced shopping and merchandising experience choice to our travel agent community. In using Farelogix as a technology provider for WestJet, we are building a strong foundation to offer innovative new products in the coming years."
Technology provider, Farelogix reports it has signed a multi-year technology agreement with WestJet Airlines. WestJet will use Farelogix technologies to provide new booking options for the travel agency community.
A Look Back at 2012: Airlines Strive to Break the Hold of ‘Commoditization’
The year 2012 was marked by moves to push airline distribution in a new direction, away from “commoditization” and toward a new model that is not simply tied to the selling of seats. At first glance, the settlement of American Airlines’ antitrust lawsuit against Sabre, approved by American’s bankruptcy court on Nov. 28, appears to maintain the status quo, but it frees American from a previous agreement with Sabre that limited its ability to openly market its Direct Connect product.
American Airlines’ New Fare Options May Be a Bargain
In brief, American's newest fare initiatives (and they are indeed "fares," not "fees") which they call "choice essential" and "choice plus," offer several packaged perks for a set price, and although the media has already piled on American for adding "new fees," for some travelers they may actually be a bargain.
The 7R’s of Merchandising: Essential Strategic Imperative
Just a few short years ago, merchandising was new to the airline industry. “New Revenue!” was the mantra, and bags were the proverbial low-hanging fruit. Fortunately—from both airline and traveler perspectives—airlines are fast moving beyond this nascent phase and embracing a more strategic view that focuses on giving travelers choice and the best possible travel experience.
American Airlines and Sabre have settled their antitrust case. According to a joint statement, the two companies "have settled their disputes and have renewed their current distribution agreement for multiple years. American has also agreed to negotiate with Sabre for additional technology services in the future. As part of the settlement, American will receive a monetary payment from Sabre. American will continue pursuing its direct connect initiative."
IATA's proposed New Distribution Capability (NDC) has been damned by ASTA as a threat to agents' and consumers' ability to mold the travel experience, but Eric Leopold, IATA's director of passenger services, last week described the new technology as a "GDS on steroids."
The NDC, Leopold said, will use an XML open standard that IATA is creating, which will make it easier for smaller airlines to access the distribution system.
The International Air Transport Association's (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) sparked more controversy as theAssociation of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) and ARTA Canada split with the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the Business Travel Coalition (BTC) over their positions on IATA's new NDC policy.
As Trial Nears, AA Says it Expects to Have New Agreement with Sabre by Year’s End
On the eve of the trial of its antitrust claims against Sabre Travel Network, American Airlines sought to reassure travel management companies and corporate accounts that they need not worry about the outcome.
In a letter to travel agencies, Derek DeCross, vice president of global sales for the carrier, said that “regardless of what happens before, during or after the trial, American fully intends to continue participating in Sabre to ensure no disruption of your ability to continue booking American flights.
ARC reports that since July 31, 2012, it has processed 2,087Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) transactions on behalf of American Airlines. EMDs allow travel agency (traditional or online) customers to pay for an air carrier’s ancillary products at the same time their flight tickets are purchased. The EMDs were purchased by priceline.com customers for American’s Preferred Seats and sold through the airline’s direct connect technology provider, Farelogix, ARC notes.
Delta: ‘Significant Work’ Ahead To Get Economy Comfort Into GDSs
Delta this week announced that it would add Amadeus to the channels through which it plans to sell Economy Comfort, also including Travelport and Farelogix, "but those agreements require significant work between us and those distributors to actually make them happen," said Delta vice president and deputy general counsel Peter Kenney. Speaking Tuesday in Washington during a meeting of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection, Kenney provided color on Delta's distribution approach, noting the carrier has "no interest in hiding ancillary services or withholding that information" from indirect sales channels.
Everyone involved in air travel — online travel agents, federal transportation officials, consumer advocates and airlines — claims to want to give passengers more information about prices for options such as meals and seat assignments while buying tickets.
Priceline Now Sells American’s Preferred Seats—Here’s Why It Matters
It might seem fairly insignificant that Priceline started selling "preferred" seats for a small fee to those who buy tickets on American, but in reality, this is a huge deal. It's hopefully just the beginning of a big change in the way you buy a ticket from online travel agents.
Airline Product Unbundling Takes on New Sophistication with Farelogix Merchandising Engine
Distribution technology provider Farelogix has taken a strategic step in positioning itself as a primary technical supporter of airline merchandising as carriers firm-up their retailing strategies during the next 18-24 months.
AA’s Direct Connect Makes Gains in Brazil, Leisure Sector
Although American Airline’s Direct Connect was initially aimed at the corporate market, new adopters tend to be coming from the leisure sector. In the latest development, two Brazilian travel technology firms have linked with American via Direct Connect, according to the airline. The XML connection will provide customers of the two companies with access to American’s full content, including ancillary products and services.
American Airlines and BookIt.com, a leading online travel provider, announced that the online travel company has become part of a growing number of agencies adopting American's direct connect link to access the airline's personalized fares, schedules, custom travel products and services.
IATA Plans ‘New Alternatives’ to Current Distribution Technology
IATA plans to unveil a new distribution technology standard that combines the “best of both” GDS and direct channels, enabling airlines and travel agents to sell on product, not just on price, IATA director general Tony Tyler said in a speech at the SITA Airline IT Summit in Brussels.
Tourico Holidays Implements American Airlines Direct Connect
American Airlines today announced that global wholesale travel provider Tourico Holidays has implemented American's direct connect - a technology link that offers travel providers access to American's fares, schedules, and customized travel products and services.
AA Ramps UP ‘Personalization’ in Selling and Tailoring Services
"My immediate thought was that it was either a promotion or a generic airfare sale email." That was the posting by one frequent flyer on a FlyerTalk message board, but, on closer examination, the email turned out to be more than a slice of spam. Rather, it extended to the American Airlines customer an offer for an itinerary previously searched on aa.com, but never booked. "Still looking for great prices from Chicago O'Hare, IL, to Los Angeles, CA?" the email asked.
iflybags Goes Mobile with iPhone App for Baggage Fee Calculations
Perhaps it is only fitting that Farelogix has turned its iflybags baggage-fee calculation service into a paid iPhone app. Like iflybags.com, which debuted in October 2011, the $0.99 per download iOS app takes industry-standard data and rules from more than 325 airlines around the globe, and enables travelers to view calculations of baggage allowances and fees based on their class of service and frequent flyer status.
Kayak established a direct-connect booking relationship with Air Canada so Kayak.com customers don’t have to leave the website to book flights with the Canadian airline. With the Air Canada direct-connect, Kayak tied into the Air Canada API, known as AC2U and developed withFarelogix.
Air Canada, Travelport Prep New Canadian Point-of-Sale Tool
Air Canada and Travelport in April plan to premiere their new Agencia point-of-sale tool for Canadian travel agents. As sequels often go, Agencia II's producers promise bigger and better special effects and a few familiar plot lines.
Farelogix, Open AXIS Group, and Others Launch TakeTravelForward
Open Axis Group and Farelogix joined with several industry groups and executives to launch a website that advocates to "improve outdated technologies in air ticketing." The TakeTravelForward site is designed to "inform and serve as a clearinghouse for new developments in the world of airline ticket distribution" and "focuses on closing the 'innovation gap' that prevents over 50 percent of the traveling public from accessing new airline technology, services and personalized options," according to the site. Other co-founders include former Air Canada president and CEO Montie Brewer, aviation analyst Darryl Jenkins, the American Aviation Institute think tank, the Association of Retail Travel Agents and ARTA Canada.
One of the more transformational events taking place in the airline industry today is the increasingly tense situation between airlines and the Global Distribution Systems that are their “partners” in selling tickets.
Farelogix Launches iflybags with Frequent Flyer Calculations and API
Farelogix launched its fee-calculation website, iflybags.com, and the Airline Tariff Publishing Co. is offering an API for companies which want to integrate the airline baggage-fee data. The idea behind the site is to increase transparency and help consumers navigate through the confusing morass of airline bag fees. Travel management companies and corporations have had major challenges in tracking the fees and true travel spend.
In a timely move that will help agents, Farelogix has launchedwww.iflybags.com, a new interactive, online baggage calculator that takes the guesswork, frustration, and mystery out of airline checked baggage allowance and fee information for travelers. The free service is the travel industry’s answer to addressing concerns around checked baggage fee transparency, Farelogix says. Tools also allow integration with agents booking system.
Baggage Fee Calculator May Help with DOT Compliance
Farelogix plans to launch a website that calculates what a traveler will pay for checking bags and other items, allowing users to compare fees on various airlines. The company developed the site for consumers, but chief executive Jim Davidson said it could resolve a thorny issue for travel agencies – complying with new Transportation Department rules that require agents either to provide checked-bag fee information on their own websites or to provide a link to the bag fee pages on airlines’ websites.
There have been some epic battles over the years as industries have had to reinvent themselves as a result of the internet and electronic devices. One area the article focused on was Cheaper Flights vs Hidden Cost. Oh dear. The point is relevant in that the web eliminated barriers to airline pricing information – and it makes sense to look at the impact of the web from the consumer’s perspective. But while the article focused on air, the same could actually be said for other products in the travel industry. In the first phase, previously privileged information that only an airline or a travel agent could provide became publicly available.
Mystery travel agency processes first airline ancillary service through US clearinghouse
A passenger buying an American Airlines Preferred Seat on flight 523 from Dallas/Fort Worth to El Paso, Texas, made travel tech history in the U.S. ARC, the airline-owned airline-travel agency transaction clearinghouse in the U.S., says it processed its first Electronic Miscellaneous Document (pdf) between an airline, in this case American Airlines, and a travel agency on Aug. 25.
Adding an international dimension to the Direct Connect controversy, Mercator, the airline IT solutions provider of the Emirates Group, and Farelogix report they have entered into an agreement whereby Mercator will be able to offer the Farelogix Direct Connect technology platform to its current and prospective customers.
Commentary: Agencies Will Benefit From Airline-GDS Wars
Michele McDonald’s article, “Agents Will Be Hit in the Crossfire from the AA-GDS Wars” is, without a doubt, a compelling piece. But it got me thinking: what if the entire perspective were different? Imagine the headline, “Agencies to Benefit from Airline-GDS Wars.” Wouldn’t that be surprising?
Air travelers are asked to pay for everything nowadays. So goes a common complaint, though the natural rejoinder is that passengers always paid for everything. Today a traveler who doesn't want a blanket and pillow doesn't have to subsidize those who do. One who travels light doesn't have to subsidize his fellow traveler who can't leave home without the entire contents of his closet.
American Airlines and American Express Global Business Travel Reach Direct Connect Understanding
American Airlines and American Express Global Business Travel, a division of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., announced today that the companies have agreed in principle to explore a long-term arrangement for the benefit of their corporate clients. Under this arrangement, American Express Global Business Travel would receive guaranteed direct long-term access to AA's fares, schedules, and customized travel products and services via AA's direct connect link through aggregation technology for such content provided by one or more global distribution systems (GDSs). The arrangement is subject to the execution of a definitive agreement.
Global Distribution Systems and the Pretense of Consumer Protection?
This past weekend, I found myself immersed in the messy divorce between airlines and the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) that used to be their “partners”. In this case, I was looking at complaints filed by American Airlines and US Airways against Sabre and related companies, and then Sabre’s and Travelport’s complaints against American Airlines. Readers know that I believe this is one of the more transformational events in the industry and I finally found the time to read in detail each party’s take on an increasingly tense situation.
Airline Fees Could Lead to a Better Flying Experience
While passengers are shelling out extra cash for everything from Wi-Fi to pillows and blankets, they could actually be rewarded in the long run with better, safer, and faster aircraft. Sure nobody wants to add $250 to a family vacation or business trip in luggage fees or meal fees, but knowing that the money being spent actually has the potential to make future trips better or cheaper should count for something.
But are all fees bad? Not necessarily. Many of these so-called “new fees” can be viewed as charges for new products, like in-flight wi-fi, that travellers could never “buy” before. And for many business travellers, it’s worth the cost to pay for something that improves comfort or productivity while in the air.
Survey Finds Most Canadian Agents See Direct Connect As Inevitable
A survey of ACTA member agencies has found that the majority of owners and agents “see direct booking with suppliers taking precedence over booking via global distribution systems over the coming decade.”
Priceline: Ticketing Milestone with American Airlines Direct Connect
Seldom does a company issue a press release and then refuse all comment about it, but this was the case today with Priceline’s announcement that it had reached a milestone in its 6-month-old deployment of American Airlines Direct Connect. The milestone? Priceline says it is now booking “more than 1,000″ tickets per day using AA Direct Connect, which comes through subcontractor Farelogix.
Third Party Payer Systems: The Most Significant Regulatory Problem in the Online World?
I explained in a recent companion post why the distribution of airline reservations was supposed to be so free, open, and transparent that it would not need continuing regulation, which is why the industry was deregulated in 2004. And yet American Airlines and US Airways have filed suit, claiming precisely the sort of abuses that were supposed to be impossible in an Internet age.
Why Is There Still Litigation in Third Party Payer Distribution Systems in Air Travel
A spate of lawsuits is emerging between the travel industry's "Global Distribution Systems" ("GDS") and their customers. The first two lawsuits were filed by US Airways and American Airlines; other lawsuits, possibly including a federal antitrust suit brought by the Department of Justice, may follow.
Travel Weekly yesterday published comments from travel industry lawyer Mark Pestronk on American Airlines' Direct Connect program. I like Mark. He has helped out over the years, and much of what he said in that Travel Weekly piece seems about right to me. But not all of it. I felt compelled to respond.
Expedia Affiliate Network Benefits from Farelogix Direct Connect in AirTran Deal
As Expedia Inc. partner Sabre shuns Farelogix, the Expedia Affiliate Network is benefiting from Farelogix direct-connect technology. No, the Expedia Affiliate Network doesn’t tie into Farelogix, but connects to aggregator ezRez, which accesses Farelogix.
If Ft. Lauderdale-based Costamar Travel launches the American Airlines Direct Connect this summer, as Costamar COO Jorge Diaz expects, the leisure agency will have a powerful new tool for selling ancillaries and tapping into new revenues, or so he hopes.
American Airlines Adds Sabre to Federal Antitrust Lawsuit
American Airlines today added Sabre Holdings Corp., (Sabre) to the federal antitrust lawsuit originally filed in April 2011 against Travelport, LLC. The amended lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, seeks to stop exclusionary, anti-consumer and anti-competitive business practices of the defendants and recover monetary damages that American has incurred as a result of these harmful actions.
Why Is the Travel Industry So Unfriendly to Startups?
Have you ever met anyone who has climbed Mount Everest? Have you ever met anyone who has been to Base Camp, the launch pad for the haul up the mountain? I haven’t, but if I did, I’d definitely think “Wow, that’s cool”. I’d probably think that the emotional reward of such an arduous journey would be amazing, even if you didn’t actually make it to the summit. Just reaching Base Camp is way more than I’ve ever done.
“GDS Also Vigorously Compete” But Do They DO This Fairly?
The team at Travelport have hit back at the American Airlines lawsuit and as expected have asked for a summary dismissal of the action. A good summary can be read in a wide variety of media. They tend to be biased based on the viewpoint of the media organ involved. So I am not going to do a link to any of them.
Many travellers – and perhaps many in the industry – must be confused and somewhat bemused by the current arcane disputes over distribution costs. But to what extent has the GDS model benefited the airline industry and does it continue to do so?
Booking Disputes Spur Probe of Airline Ticket Sales
The Department of Justice is investigating whether third-party distributors of airline tickets have violated antitrust laws, wading into a battle between carriers and the sellers of the bulk of their tickets over how flight and fare information is shared.
GTMC: BA spells out support for American in GDS dispute
A senior British Airways executive has made clear the carrier’s support for American Airlines’ attempt to break the existing airline distribution system. BA head of UK and Ireland sales Richard Tams described the global distribution systems (GDSs) as “gatekeepers” and the current model as “broken” in an address to the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) on Sunday.
Air Canada has announced it has completed its project of rebuilding and enhancing its airline direct connect API, marketed as AC2U. Dubbed the New AC2U and first revealed in August of last year as a joint effort with Farelogix, it is now beginning its initial customer implementations.
The industry is not giving due regard to American Airlines' Direct Connect plan to reinvent its indirect distribution structure, perhaps mistaking the move for a scheme designed to influence global distribution system negotiations, according to incoming Airlines Reporting Corporation president and CEO Mike Premo.
American Airlines Visiting Travel Agents with Direct Connect Contact Push
American Airlines employees have been visiting travel agents in several states over the last few weeks carrying several documents — nondisclosure agreements about their discussions and direct-connect licensing contracts. The airline apparently is making a big push now to get travel agents to sign the direct-connect contracts because of a looming big day on the calendar, June 1.
Having followed The Beat's blog on airline distribution issues for quite a while, I thought it was time for the "indirect channel" to make its voice better heard. Travel agencies and TMCs continue to experience confusion about direct connect, alternative distribution, and ancillary fee data. The very loud drone from the "Open Allies" continues to propagate myths about the alleged nefarious plans of the airlines to withhold data, hide fees, and essentially hoodwink the traveling public.
One by one, airlines are waking up to the sobering reality of the modern Global Distribution System (GDS) model, which they created decades ago. Two carriers have now taken legal action, and this is only the beginning. If more airlines want to see changes and lower costs, they should join forces instead of watching from the sidelines.
Remember that little spat in March when US Airways issued a press release to challenge Sabre’s characterization of their new full-content agreement? Well, all was obviously not love and kisses in the partnership as further evidenced by the antitrust lawsuit that US Airways filed today against Sabre in the Southern District Court of New York.
US Airways Suit: Sabre Forced Airline to Sign Content Agreement or Face Removal
US Airways on Thursday filed a federal antitrust lawsuit in New York against Sabre that seeks "to halt anticompetitive and anticonsumer practices, as well as recover monetary damages," the carrier announced. US Airways does not expect the litigation to immediately impact the display or availability of its fares through Sabre channels.
In the wake of the decision by Delta Airlines to use the Farelogix distribution system, it is clear that the US market for distribution has now been clearly redefined. The big 5 US traditional model airlines - US Airways, American Airlines, Delta and Continental/United have now all signed up for the service. Technically Southwest may have too as they are consuming Air Tran who is also signed up with Farelogix. (So that is how I got to 6).
Elephants Courting the Industry Again – Time for More Disruption?
A commonly held view in any industry is that when faces from outside the usual suspects start appearing at events, then there is something afoot…. Whereas for years the standard “future of distribution” debate would centre primarily on the role of GDSs, and often only include their representatives, such is the potential for change in the model that the likes of Davidson and others are becoming important figures in the debate.
Delta to Build Fare-Distribution System to Cut $300 Million Cost
Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) is building a computer system to let travel agents book flights directly with the carrier, helping trim the $300 million spent annually on fare distributors such as Sabre Holdings Corp. Fare data and ancillary services such as seat selection and paying checked-bag fees will be available to agents when the system goes live in the fourth quarter, said Trebor Banstetter, an airline spokesman. Atlanta-based Delta hired Farelogix Inc. on April 12 to do the work, Banstetter said.
US Government Delays Decisions on Ancillary Fee Displays in GDSs
The U.S. Department of Transportation decided to require airlines and travel agencies to more prominently display ancillary fees, but deferred action on a hot-button proposal to force U.S. and foreign carriers to provide information about ancillary fees in global distribution systems.
Delta Air Lines on April 12 signed an agreement with Farelogix to offer later this year an Open Axis-based XML interface for its content and to power bookings with ARC settlement on Delta's WorldAgent Direct, according to a spokesman.
Delta Airlines Introduces Direct-Connect Strategy with Farelogix
Delta Air Lines signed a partnership with Farelogix to introduce a direct-connect strategy for travel agencies and corporations. Under the agreement, signed April 12, online travel agencies and travel management companies would be able to hook up to the Delta-Farelogix platform to access the airline’s full-content, including schedules, fares and optional services.
American Sues Travelport, Orbitz for Antitrust Violations
American Airlines charged Travelport with violations of federal antitrust laws in a new lawsuit filed against the GDS company and Orbitz in a US federal court in Fort Worth. American said Travelport exerts “monopoly power” over airlines because it effectively controls access to many of the end users of American’s products and services.
Companies that build search engines for gathering and publishing airfare data online could see a surge of investment and merger activity now that Google Inc. has overcome antitrust concerns in its purchase of ITA Software.
American Airlines Throws Monopoly Lawsuit at Travelport and Orbitz
Yet more legal shenanigans from the US with American Airlines filing an antitrust action at Travelport and Orbitz over the ongoing Direct-Connect issue. The carrier, which has been involved in a dizzying array of legal actions with the pair over recent months, issued the complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, US, late-yesterday citing concerns over the anticompetitive nature of the GDS and online travel agency’s distribution agreements.
Those nice people at BTC and ASTA having failed with the formal amendment to the FAA re authorization bill is now resorting to scare tactics to try one last ditch effort to get their nose into the political pork trough.
American and Expedia Make Up as the Reservation System Model Crumbles
This hasn’t received a lot of attention amidst all the holes in airplanes and smoke in cockpits, but there was a huge development in American’s fight with the third party reservation system providers (aka the GDSes) yesterday. In my eyes, American has won a huge battle and the GDSes are going to be scrambling. For the customer, it should be a good thing.
Orbitz Worldwide and Travelport extended their agreement where Travelport pays Orbitz increased incentives to shun a direct-connect with American Airlines. Travelport began paying Orbitz the souped-up incentive payments Dec. 22, 2010, the day after American Airlines removed its flights from Orbitz websites, and the payments were to run through April 21. However, Orbitz disclosed today that the two parties reached an extension agreement March 29, calling for the increased payments to run through Aug. 31, 2011.
American Airlines and Expedia signed a memorandum of understanding, paving the way for the airlines’ flights to get back on Expedia websites. Fares and schedules for American Airlines and American Eagle are back on Expedia websites and those of sister company Hotwire. It appears the two parties reached a compromise on the hot-button direct-connect issue.
Jim Davidson, president and CEO of Farelogix, Inc., has launched a new blog to give him a direct line of communication to voice his opinion about the travel distribution industry. “As the debate over airline distribution rages on, there has never been a better time to share thoughts and become engaged,” Davidson said. The new “Ask the Question” blog offers commentary, insights and discussions on the latest and often controversial topics in travel distribution including previously published materials and videos.
To the GDSs: Either Evolve or Dissolve – It’s That Simple
In the March 12 Economics column of The New York Times, University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler correctly titles his piece as it pertains to the airline industry: “This Data Isn’t Dull. It Improves Lives.” The column then goes on to distort the intentions of the airline industry. At the heart of the matter is the relationship of the airline industry to the Global Distribution Systems (GDS). Every time an air travel consumer works with a travel agency, the information being supplied by the agent is likely provided by a GDS. The data necessary to enable the agent is supplied by the airlines to the GDS.
With the rapid deployment of new airline products and services – think baggage fees -through airline websites, Open AXIS members have expressed concern over the inability of travel agency desktop platforms to meet the display and selling requirements of both the airlines and travel agencies. This is one motive behind the formation of an Open AXIS Working Group charged with understanding the distribution, content display and selling needs of airlines and their travel agency partners. One target is the famed CRS ‘Green Screen’ that is under scrutiny.
Travel Agency Desktop Summit May Be Somewhat Clandestine
Open AXIS Group plans to convene a working group focusing on the alleged inadequacies of the travel agency desktop — but the identities of at least some of the attendees may remain a secret. In the high-stakes world of travel agency point of sales tools, some travel management company and online travel agency attendees of the Desktop 2.0 conclave may not be ready to publicize their participation in an Open AXIS Group event, says executive director Jim Young.
Airlines Find A New Ancillary Services Distributor in Rearden Commerce
Airlines looking to distribute ancillary services such as checked bags, seat upgrades and meals outside of the global distribution systems have found a new partner in Rearden Commerce. Rearden plans to hook up to Farelogix’s XML direct connect technology to bring airline ancillary services to corporate and travel management company clients of the Rearden Personal Assistant at the point of sale.
American Airlines' Direct Connect concept has shaken up the distribution industry, but it remains to be seen if the carrier's bold move will be a genuine game changer or just a Trojan horse aimed at stirring up the status quo.
Rearden Buys the Revenue Argument, Pledges ‘Extra Large’ Investment for Farelogix Hookup
Last week’s announcement of a Rearden Commerce/Farelogix partnership will allow Rearden’s Personal Assistant to sell optional services. This investment involves technology coding to integrate Rearden’s systems with those of Farelogix.
Rearden Partners With Farelogix, Enhances Personal Assistant
Rearden Commerce announced a partnership with Farelogix, new features for its Personal Assistant tool and membership in the Open Axis Group. According to the companies, Farelogix's direct-connect technology will enable airlines to sell via Rearden's Personal Assistant such optional services as meals, seat upgrades and baggage allowance. Rearden clients can include policies for those services within the tool and track resulting expenditures.
Priceline Is Live With American Airlines Direct Connect
When American Airlines revealed in mid-January that it reached a direct-connect agreement with Priceline, the airline indicated that “Priceline.com expects to begin issuing American Airlines tickets through the link in the near future.” Now, it turns out, the direct-connect actually was established sometime in the fourth quarter of 2010 — well before the official announcement. And, Priceline began issuing tickets through the American Airlines direct-connect in late January, says Brian Ek, Priceline spokesman.
American Airlines Vs. Sabre Holdings: Destruction or Creation of Airline Traveler Value?
In January 2011, American Airlines (AMR) and Sabre Holdings, parent company of Travelocity, came to loggerheads over content, fees, and the role of global distribution systems in the future of air travel. While American Airlines seeks to gain efficiencies and customer intimacy by encouraging customers and ticket brokers to connect directly with the American Airlines information systems, Sabre Holdings decries a reduction of choice and transparency and responds with a lower placement of American Airlines offerings in their distribution system.
Click here to read the rest of the story
February 21, 2011
US OTA Transactions Decline in January
There will be a fair amount of spin going on about this news. ARC’s January 2011 detailed breakdown of transactions shows a decline in Online Travel Agency activity when compare to last year. After significant jumps in 2010 over 2011 – we can expect a moderating level of activity but the fall was unexpected. Clearly something is going on.
Farelogix YouTube Video Questions Alleged Deception of GDS Coalitions
OK, Farelogix takes us to the movies again, this time questioning the alleged scare tactics of “GDS and sponsored coalitions and lobbyists.” In the latest Farelogix video, Ask the Question 10, president and CEO Jim Davidson cites global distribution system coalitions and well-orchestrated public relations campaigns as stirring up disdain for “the evil airline direct-connect movement.”
US Government Delivers Transparent Warning to GDSs and OTAs
The U.S. Department of Transportation wrote a “display bias” letter to major global distribution systems and online travel agencies, warning them “not to engage in undisclosed display bias.” Without naming names, it’s clear that Sabre’s decision to bias American Airlines’ flights in the GDS in early January 2011 and Expedia’s similar action on its websites in December 2010, before removing American’s flights altogether in a contract dispute the next month, prompted the letter.
Full Content vs Full Capability – The Wrinkle in Airline Distribution
Much has been written about “full content” being the way that GDSs control their relationships with the airlines. But is there a dark side to this – that full content contracts actually harm many different players because the GDSs don’t have the ability to provide full content capability, the ability to correctly and fully display the content that in essence they have exclusivity to?
Don’t be afraid — this is the message I have for travelers who may be concerned about losing the ability for comparison-shopping because of the war between American Airlines and online travel agencies. The longtime Global Distribution Systems (GDS) model is about to change, and many people stand to lose lots of money. That’s why they are trying to scare you.
The familiar world of online air travel search is about to get a major shake-up. (…) The biggest push to change online ticket buying is coming from American Airlines, which recently announced that it wanted to bypass the central reservation systems that now deliver fare information to online travel agents like Expedia and Orbitz, and instead deliver that information directly.
Travelport Sues American Airlines Over Kayak Discount
Travelport is seeking an injunction and damages against American Airlines, alleging that a 10% Kayak discount off American Airlines’ fares violates Travelport’s global distribution system full-content agreements with the airline.
Click Travel boss Simon McLean has said he is “excited” by the prospect of airlines introducing direct connect products to the travel management arena. But McLean, who was speaking to ABTN at the Business Travel and Meetings Show in London, accused other travel management companies of being “scared” about the possible outcome of American Airlines' dispute with the global distribution systems (GDSs) and online travel agencies (OTAs).
A number of developments have occurred on the evolving travel distribution front. What does this all mean to travel distribution in 2011? To many these may seem like conflicting developments with certain distributors sidling with the airlines while others clearly opposing their efforts to reshape traditional distribution. In reality the recent announcements actually signal a certain level of detente. The GDS are bending on their hard stance about accessing ancillary fees via the Open Axis XML connection while with the exception of AA, other mainline airlines are showing a willingness to work with both the GDS and OTAs.
Farelogix probes divergent Travelport views on Air Canada, American Airlines Direct Connects
In its latest Ask the Question video, Farelogix points to the seeming contradiction between Travelport’s praise of its direct-connect with Air Canada and vehement opposition to American Airlines Direct Connect. Davidson questions why Travelport hailed the Air Canada initiative as an “industry first” yet blasts AA Direct Connect as “materially inferior…” Davidson muses about what he sees as a seeming contradiction.
Why the industry should wake up and smell the new distribution coffee
The travel distribution model is broken. In 2011, it just doesn’t make sense anymore. American Airlines’s Direct-Connect is a fundamentally better way to distribute and the industry should read the writing on wall and adapt… And like Blockbuster, which is now in bankruptcy thanks to the upstart Netflix, GDSs will find themselves in trouble, getting beat most likely by ITA, Farelogix, and other technology players. The companies that innovate even when it compromises their core model are the ones that survive disruption, not the companies that resist and form defensive alliances.
Alongside the continuing fluctuating economic situation, soaring food and commodity prices, and potential climatic disruption, the travel industry has to master 7 distinct developing disciplines and trends if it wants to evolve. One of these trends relates to Ancillary Revenues & Merchandising. Over the last decade the drive to build ancillary revenues revolutionized the online travel industry… Farelogix will be speaking on this topic at the EyeForTravel conference in London this May.
New Air Canada API Enables Discounted Ancillary Services, Customized Fares
Excerpt: "Our old API wasn't very robust or fast," Wareham acknowledged. "Our velocity of change is quite quick with our product and web offerings, and we were always struggling to have our API keep up. Our new API hosted by Farelogix is a much nimbler platform that connects directly into our host system. It encompasses web services for all our products and functions. There is nothing we do on aircanada.com that we cannot do through the API."
The 25 Most Influential Executives Of The Business Travel Industry Of 2010
The 25 Most Influential Executives of 2010 is Business Travel News' 26th consecutive annual effort to identify the executives who most directly drove those changes, who forced the industry to take notice of and react to their decisions. Jim Davidson, Farelogix CEO, is among the 25 executives included in the 2010 listing. Congratulations!
“Naysayers” Lose Credibility as Travelport/Air Canada Deal Unfolds
The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) and the Association of Retail Travel Agents - Canada (ARTA Canada) advised today that the "danger alert" levied by ASTA, ACTA, and BTC (and the Open Allies Group of GDSs and OTAs) regarding "direct connect" platforms was struck a serious blow to its credibility with the advent of the Travelport/Air Canada direct connect agreement. The opponents of the direct connect platform sought by American Airlines contradicted themselves when they surprisingly dropped their opposition to similar initiatives at other airlines, including Southwest and, now, Air Canada. In fact, in the case of Air Canada, Travelport and ACTA welcomed the new arrangement, calling it a "landmark agreement".
American Airlines gets direct-connect partner in Vegas.com
American Airlines, battling Expedia, Orbitz and the GDSs over distribution costs and its direct-connect initiative, signed online travel agency Vegas.com as a direct-connect partner. The agreement is between American, Vegas.com and the site’s technology division, Cyllenius. Cyllenius powers Vegas.com, Lasvegas.com, Espanol.Vegas.com and Mexico.com. All four sites are part of the privately held Greenspun Family of companies and are using the American Airlines direct-connect link, the companies say. Cyllenius, connects to AA Direct Connect through Farelogix, which is the airline’s direct-connect supplier.
January 13, 2011 American Airlines furor? Air Canada, Travelport declare world peace
The new API is licensed from Farelogix and is compatible with the emerging Open AXIS Group XML standards. (…) Using the Farelogix Fare Management System, Air Canada can authenticate shopping questions and conduct merchandising based on whether the traveler falls under a corporate contract, has elite status, or is a client of a preferred travel agency, for example…
Farelogix Names Lopez Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Farelogix said Edna Lopez has joined the company's executive team as senior vice president and general counsel. Lopez was most recently the president of the Amadeus holding company in North America and the general counsel to Amadeus' North American marketing company. She has been working with Farelogix as a legal consultant over the past few months on a number of legal related projects.
Why American Wants to Go Around the Reservation Systems
A lot has been written about American’s fight with Orbitz, Expedia, and now Sabre, but I still don’t think that it’s been made very clear for “normal” people. Why can’t you book American on Orbitz and Expedia? What does Sabre have to do with you, the traveler? In the end, there shouldn’t really be an impact on travelers, but the current fighting is putting a temporary wrench into things. It will pass, eventually.
Farelogix Contemplates Creating New "Full Transparency" Coalition
Just for fun... Farelogix announced its intention to form a new travel industry coalition focused on the Preservation of GDS Profits and High Distribution Costs. A secondary focus will support lobby efforts to encourage law-makers to pass legislation that restricts innovation, prohibits new entrants, and maintains the status quo for the travel industry. According to Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson, someone has to step in and help the GDS to preserve the estimated $7,000,000,000 in annual revenues the GDS receive from the airlines in the form of segment and transaction fees.
Companies like Farelogix are working on things that will eventually make Sabre irrelevant when it comes to booking air travel. Sabre can try to fight that as long as it wants, but if it doesn’t evolve, it’s going to be out of this part of the business. It’s just a matter of when.
Farelogix Fights Back, Defends AA’s Direct Connect
The current furor over airline Direct Connect, specifically American Airlines' “AA Direct Connect,” has stirred the emotions of almost everyone in the industry – from pundits to industry lobbying groups, according to recent online commentary from Jim Davidson, president and CEO of Farelogix.
Sabre Makes the Wrong Choice By Removing American Airlines
When Sabre announced that it would no longer offer American Airlines (AMR) flights for booking in its reservation system, some thought the move was extreme. In reality, however, this is one of only two options Sabre had. Instead of choosing to change with the times, Sabre has opted to use its heft to try to prevent the times from changing. In the long run, this will not work.
Trying to understand the airline-GDS-OTA war? Try the animated version
A vested interest in it all, of course, but Farelogix has produced a pretty decent summary of the current battle between airlines, online travel agencies and GDSs.
But rather than have CEO Jim Davidson vent forth, fun DIY computer animation system Xtranormal was used to portray how the whole sorry saga might be explained to someone not in the know.
NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION – BUT FOR FUN – Farelogix today announced its intention to form a new travel industry coalition focused on the Preservation of GDS Profits and High Distribution Costs. A secondary focus will to support lobby efforts to encourage lawmakers to pass legislation that restricts innovation, prohibits new entrants, and maintains the status quo for the travel industry. The company is currently interviewing prospective lobbyists and searching for a low-cost office in the DC area.
American Airlines is right! Time to move travel into 21st century only one decade late.
The travel industry is riveted by the chutzpah of American Airlines. By forcing Orbitz and Expedia to de-list AA flights, they are taking a hard stance on the future of distribution. The media storm suggests a stand-off of epic proportions -- one of the largest suppliers vs. two of the largest agencies in the world (and now Sabre is in the fray also). But what is really going on here? Is this about fees? Is it about control? Is it about technology costs? A little of each, of course. But let me say what everyone is thinking deep down inside but few want to admit:
Expedia Inc. Has Dropped Tickets for AA Flights From Its Listings
Expedia Inc. has dropped tickets for American Airlines flights from its listings in the latest development in a feud between the airline and online travel agencies. American Airlines thanked customers for their continued loyalty in the wake of a commercial dispute with two online travel agencies, Expedia and Orbitz, that is preventing American Airlines fares from being featured on those sites. DeCross reiterated that American is committed to working with all distribution channels to benefit from adopting its direct connection model, powered by Farelogix, which delivers to travel agencies and their customers more customized travel choices and options. There is no cost to tap into American's direct connection.
Airlines, GDSs and the case of the gourmet chocolate truffle cream cookie
As American Airlines and Travelport battle over the next phase in travel distribution, the Open Axis Group, the XML standards group which counts American as a member, published a video that purports to show the current shortfalls in GDS distribution of new airline products. “The Case of the New Cookie” gives GDSs, travel agents and other intermediaries something to munch on as the video likens new airline products to a “high-end gourmet chocolate truffle cream cookie” and compares the Travelport, Sabre and Amadeus GDSs to three trucking companies who can’t deliver the cream cookies through travel agencies to appropriate airline customers.
Airlines, GDSs and the case of the gourmet chocolate truffle cream cookie.
As American Airlines and Travelport battle over the next phase in travel distribution, the Open Axis Group, the XML standards group which counts American as a member, published a video that purports to show the current shortfalls in GDS distribution of new airline products. “The Case of the New Cookie” gives GDSs, travel agents and other intermediaries something to munch on as the video likens new airline products to a “high-end gourmet chocolate truffle cream cookie” and compares the Travelport, Sabre and Amadeus GDSs to three trucking companies who can’t deliver the cream cookies through travel agencies to appropriate airline customers.
The year-long battle between American Airlines and the global distribution systems (GDSs) is clearly heating up, given the threat by American to pull its content from Orbitz on 01-Dec-2010, short circuiting a contract that still has three years to run, but may have reached its amendable date.
AA Slaps Surcharges on Agent's Travelport Bookings
The battle between American Airlines and Travelport heated up this week when American told travel agents outside the U.S. and the Caribbean that it is adding hefty surcharges for bookings made through Travelport’s
AA, Travelport Mobilize for Newest Air Distribution Battle
American Airlines and Travelport this week escalated a conflict that represents the latest flashpoint in airline distribution, a legal and commercial battle that highlights such key airline distribution components as full-content agreements, GDS economics, the sale of ancillary services and direct connections.
It must have been that last piece of key lime pie, or maybe the imported red wine ... I'll no doubt never know what caused me to wake up at 3 a.m. singing a strange variation of the Ghostbusters movie theme. Oh come on, you know how it goes: "Whoya gonna call? Ghostbusters!" Except my version was much more disturbing: "When you need innovation, in your travel supply chain, who ya gonna call?
Travelport, Orbitz, Farelogix in patent dispute over American Airlines Direct Connect
American Airlines is trying to get travel agents to hook up to AA Direct Connect and bypass global distribution systems, but Travelport is sending signals that the technology may infringe on an Orbitz patent.
Open Axis Group - "Who's Asking?" - But Do Airlines Really Know?"
The Open Axis Group, the not-for-profit industry organization promoting XML- based airline distribution connectivity has produced a video and whitepaper in an effort to persuade the indirect channel (TMCs, Corporate Booking Tools & GDS) to adopt their XML schema…..
American threatens to sever ties to Orbitz
Orbitz CEO Barney Harford says the dispute centers on AA's direct-connect plans.
American plans to connect directly with large travel distributors such as online travel agencies and major travel management companies. It would connect with smaller agencies and other distributors via third parties, such as Farelogix. Ultimately, American has said, it will sever its Edifact connections with GDSs. It would, however, offer its XML direct connection to GDSs.
AA vs Orbitz: First Move toward End of the GDS Era?
The carrier has been clear about its plans to connect directly with large travel distributors such as online travel agencies and major travel management companies. It would connect with smaller agencies and other distributors via third parties, such as Farelogix. Ultimately, American has said, it will sever its Edifact connections with GDSs. It would, however, offer its XML direct connection to GDSs.
Farelogix Response to Sabre's 20+ Questions on Direct Connect
Farelogix is in business to create value for our customers and maximize the return for our investors. We charge our customers fees for using our technology services. Farelogix offers a number of products and services as Open Source and free of charge (primarily to promote industry technology modernization), as well as our for-fee products and services ... and contrary to all the rumors, "I am not a witch!"
Travel Sites Fly in Formation To Ground Google Buyout of ITA Software
Online trave site operators Expedia (EXPE, Farelogix, Sabre Holdings and Kayak have formed FairSearch.org, making oone of those rare situations where compeititors have teamed up as a collective group to fight….
In a recent filing with the U.S. Department of Transportation, James Davidson, the CEO of Farelogix, which offers alternative software for distributing such information, accused the GDSs of refusing to incorporate personalized passenger options in their products because it would "represent a threat to the current GDS commercial model."
Amadeus One-An IT Company-But it is Up to the TMC to decide
A clear battlefield has emerged between the Axis Group of airlines who are promoting the Farelogix XML interface and the traditional distribution players. The corporate travel market represents the true pot of gold for all distributors .
The price of these products may also differ based on criteria such as frequent flyer status or fare paid. New entrant providers such as Farelogix have developed technology which is more advanced and efficient."
The latest Farelogix Ask the Question video says airline optional services are good, that transparency issues are overblown and that the issues involved come down to the fact that the global distribution systems have declined to modernize
INTERVIEW: Farelogix CEO: If government interferes with fare transparency, “all sides will suffer”
Today is Mad as Hell About Hidden Fees Day. Full disclosure: I co-founded one of the organizations that created this event, so I have a horse in this race. I’m also something of a contrarian. And one thing I’ve noticed is that, apart from a few soundbites, the airline position on fees hasn’t been fully articulated. So I asked an airline to do just that and it referred me to Jim Davidson.
If an Electronic Miscellaneous Document fell in the woods
Posted by Dennis Schaal
After a several million dollar effort, the Airlines Reporting Corp. says it will be ready in early November to handle airline and travel agency processing of Electronic Miscellaneous Documents for the reporting and settlement of optional services.
Identifying bad wolves and luddites in the airline industry
Posted by Timothy O'Neil-Dunne
I keep digging to find out where the issues lie in the ancillaries debate as so many people seem to be so upset by it… During a session run by Jim Davidson CEO of Farelogix – who is somewhat of a lightning rod on the subject matter – he ran a poll of 125 travel managers who were in the audience.
American Airlines-GDS negotiations have come up empty so far
American Airlines says it invited the major global distribution systems to tie into its new direct-connect technology and negotiated with them for more than a year. But, the GDSs — Amadeus, Travelport GDS and Sabre Travel Network – “have declined so far,” says Cory Garner, American’s director of merchandising strategy.
GDSs need a YouTube channel to Answer Farelogix Questions
Farelogix has been deftly using YouTube to raise interesting airline distribution questions in its Ask the Question series. Some of the points are on target and hit home, and rest assured that the GDSs, which often are the targets of the jibes, aren’t putting these videos in their favorites lists. Visions of the Farelogix logo on dart boards probably are more on target.
GUEST: Farelogix's Davidson On 'Free Markets Vs. The G-Card: What Keeps You Up At Night?'
It must have been that last piece of key lime pie, or maybe the imported red wine ... I'll no doubt never know what caused me to wake up at 3 a.m. singing a strange variation of the Ghostbusters movie theme. Oh come on, you know how it goes: "Whoya gonna call? Ghostbusters!" Except my version was much more disturbing: "When you need innovation, in your travel supply chain, who ya gonna call? Uncle Sam!"
INTERVIEW: AirTran Execs On APIs, GDSs And 'Religion' In Distribution
AirTran Airways over the years has taken some nonconformist stances in distribution. In 2005, it inked a new distribution deal with Cendant that did not include booking incentives. The same year, it temporarily ended participation in Worldspan and Expedia, and mulled a further withdrawal from global distribution systems. This year, senior vice president of marketing Kevin Healy indicated the airline wasn't interested in adopting Electronic Miscellaneous Documents. The Beat's Jay Campbell last week spoke with Healy and AirTran director of pricing and distribution planning Matt Klein about and the latest developments for the carrier's application programming interface and other topics. AirTran also uses the New Skies res system furnished by Navitaire, and although JetBlue and WestJet recently migrated away from Navitaire, Healy said there is "nothing imminent" as far as any res system changes at AirTran.
Air Canada Rebuilding API As New Strategy Preserves Traditional Res System
Air Canada enlisted Farelogix to rebuild its application-programming interface, which is the airline's primary means of connectivity to several corporate travel booking solutions, including those from Concur, KDS and TRX, as well as Travelport's Agencia product.
Due in November, the new interface would replace the carrier's first API, which a different third party built about three years ago when Air Canada had plans to migrate to a new reservations system by ITA Software. The carrier a year ago said it dropped that res system plan.
Canadian TMC Rebuffs GDSs, Helps Farelogix Build Desktop Product
That many of Air Canada's lowest fares are not in the global distribution systems is one reason why Calgary-based Boulevard Travel is an early adopter of the Farelogix Sprk agent desktop solution, but it's not the only reason, said general manager Kevin Murphy. He's also not particularly impressed with GDS technology and wants to be as close to his airline suppliers as possible.
Airlines Unveil XML-Promoting Standards Body To Enable
Several airlines today formally announced the new XML airline
standards body first reported by The Beat last month. Called the Open
Airline XML Integration Standard group (Open Axis), the organization counts as
founding members Air
, American Airlines,
Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways, as well
as the Airline Tariff Publishing Company. The group has launched with XML schema
donated by Farelogix.
Airlines and ATPCO Form Open AXIS Group to Promote Acceptance and Adoption of Connectivity Standards Industry Veteran Jim Young Appointed Executive Director
TORONTO- Air Canada, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways have formed theOpen AXIS Group.The Open AXIS (Airline XML Integration Standard) Group was created to promote a standardized XML (eXtensible Markup Language) schema as the optimal electronic messaging structure for airline system connectivity used in content distribution. The Group also invited the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO) to serve as the founding Allied Member.
American Airlines to begin distribution of optional services
exclusively through Farelogix
American Airlines plans to begin
later this month to distribute optional services to travel agencies and
third-party tech providers exclusively through Farelogix.
And, in the future, the airline plans to offer all of its existing and upcoming
ancillary services exclusively through AA Direct Connect via subcontractor Farelogix.
Davidson On 'Why The Latest BTC Allegations Don't Add Up And What We Can Do About It'
The following guest column was contributed by Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson.
OK, I'll admit it: Lately I have been trying to take a more passive role in travel industry public discourse. After the surprising accusation that I was leading a cult-like movement toward innovation and against the status quo, I decided to "turn the other cheek," "start with a fresh page," "take one for the gipper," and just shut up. I had even decided to stop my "incessant incantations" on XML (oooh that seductive XML...XML...XML...XML.).
Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, my incantations.
As those who run with me in my inner circle know, I have been a long-time student of the ancient arts of spell-casting and mind control. But up until very recently, the only spell I have been able to cast was putting an accidental curse on Mike Premo of ARC that makes him feel compelled to wear a bow tie whenever he leaves the house. And I'm still working to correct that one. So for several reasons, I hereby promise no more incantations. However I can't stop being incessant and vocal when I see danger and hypocrisy afoot in our industry, which brings me to the purpose of this article.
Airline fees a nightmare for corporate travel planners
By David Grossman
U.S. airlines collected more than $7.8 billion in ancillary fees in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and that number is up more than 40% over the previous year. Ancillary fees now comprise 6.5% of all airline revenue. With such compelling numbers, it is certain those pesky ancillary fees are here to stay and will go higher still as airlines concoct new ways to extract additional funds from travelers.
Standardized Creativity? Homogenous Product Differentiation? The Quest for Control of the Airline Product
Farelogix is highly supportive of management and settlement standards being developed around the merchandising process. We have been the leaders in developing the first ARC certified EMD (both EMD-A and EMD-S), which is in full accordance to the IATA reporting standard. Farelogix merchandising solutions also fully support ATPCO fare filings if airlines opt to use ATP instead of alternative merchandising solutions in the market.
Farelogix adds airline-distribution maverick Al Lenza to board
If Sarah Palin and John McCain were mavericks, what kind of team will Al Lenza and Jim Davidson make?
With airline clashes with global distribution systems in the offing, Farelogix has recruited distribution maverick Al Lenza to its board for “both guidance and a provocative perspective on the changing role of distribution in the travel industry.
Farelogix Inc. announced that it has added airline industry veteran, Al Lenza to its board of directors. Recognized for his extensive global airline distribution experience and innovation, Mr. Lenza will provide Farelogix with both guidance and a provocative perspective on the changing role of distribution in the travel industry.
American Airlines details direct-connect plans, says user-pay model is urban myth
What user-pay model?
Contrary to assertions from the American Society of Travel Agents and the Business Travel Coalition, American Airlines says it has no intention of charging travel agents, corporations or global distribution systems to access its base fares or optional services.
I recently attended the CASMA meeting in Montreal. I was invited to participate on a panel to discuss “value-based” merchandising, which I was honored and pleased to do. Engaging in fruitful industry dialogue, in particular about critical topics such as airline merchandising, is well worth the time and money investment required to prepare thoughtful, provocative and hopefully entertaining presentations. It was clear that several other presenters share this view. The quality of presentations, however, is not the focus of this letter.
Change is good, according to the old adage. In practice, we only believe it when it happens to someone else.
Over the last couple of months, it has become clear that several major airlines, notably American, are looking to alter the way they distribute their products to corporate travelers. Given that there has been no substantial change in the way they do that since 1976, you might think they were due.
Agents/Airlines Wait for Unbundled Services Solution
Most major airlines have dabbled in ways to attract the corporate travel market to their Web sites. Most abandoned the effort when it became clear that the care and feeding of corporations and their travelers is best left to specialists. Airlines simply aren’t good at things like enforcing corporate travel policies, tracking how early a traveler books and how often he rebooks, or getting involved with expense reports.
Fear and loathing in the airline industry, innovation on hold?
NB: This guest post is written by Jim Davidson, president and CEO of Farelogix.
It is no secret that one of the most powerful ways to influence individual and societal behavior is fear.
Just turn on the evening news or read a history book to see all kinds of examples where scaremongerers – those who exploit others’ worst fears for political or commercial benefit – manage to scare people into doing what might otherwise not make logical sense
It´s that time again. The five-year, "Full-Content" agreements that most major US carriers signed with the major global distribution systems in 2006 are due to expire next year. In what is becoming a ritual of the contract cycle, airlines are letting the GDS companies know thay they have some opinions.
Six of the big questions around travel merchandising
It’s official – the debate around merchandising has switched from the conceptual to the practical, meaning that it is finally being taken very seriously.
At the CASMA conference in Montreal last month, one of the most interesting sessions was on airline merchandising and ancillary revenue (can’t swing a cat at a conference these days without hitting a merchandising panel).
What if you woke up one morning and found that two of the nation’s largest airlines were no longer providing full content to your GDS?
What if, as a result, your GDS incentive payments dwindled?
What if you found out you had to pay your region’s largest airline $6.50 for each segment you booked through your GDS?
What if your competitor found a way to get access to the content you no longer have? What if that agency also found a way not only to provide accurate comparisons of ticket-plus-checked bag-plus-assigned seat but could sell these components in bundles of its own creation?
Why mobile itinerary planning and sharing is starting to get very interesting
The really interesting part about mobile travel apps right now is how much investment is going into this space.
And, equally important, how the improved functionality is making a much more compelling value proposition for the end user.
So I ask the question: is it too late for airlines themselves to own a piece of this?
So who are some of the players to watch:
Ancillary revenue, merchandising take center stage at CASMA spring meeting
An Airlines Reporting Corp. executive challenged the Computerized Airlines Sales & Marketing Association to take the lead on "fulfilling the promise" of ancillary revenues and merchandising. The chief executive of a technology company wondered why travel agents aren't "kicking down the doors" of their GDS providers to demand that they enable them to sell airlines' differentiated products. An airline executive bemoaned the legacy technologies that "don't necessarily keep up with our marketing brilliance."
With 6 airlines on board, LUTE rolls out its multisource travel distribution system
News from Travel Technology Update: LUTE Technologies AG, based in Zug, Switzerland, rolled out LUTE 2, its full-product, multisource travel distribution system.
LUTE currently has connections with Lufthansa, United, Continental, American, Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Air Canada and US Airways will be connected shortly, and the company expects to add more airlines in the future.
Chicago Business Travel Association and Teleporting?
Jeff Goldblum isn’t the best looking dude, but when he’s The Fly that’s downright creepy. So I was pretty freaked out when the Chicago Business Travel Association (CBTA) asked me to moderate a panel that, among other topics, was covering “teleportation.” It was always cool when they did that beaming thing on Star Trek, but hey, things can go wrong when you don’t have The Priceline Negotiator.
Business traveler Mike Monroe no longer rummages through his bag at the airline counter fishing for his flight ticket or confirmation number. The consultant from Lakeland, Fla., has gone paperless, thanks to Continental Airlines' electronic boarding passes. Once he checks in online, the carrier e-mails a bar code to his phone. That code is scanned at security checkpoints and gates instead of a boarding pass. "It takes away a lot of annoyances."
Farelogix, Mobiata Partner on Mobile Airline Merchandising Farelogix, which provides distribution technology and services for the travel industry, and Mobiata, which provides mobile travel applications, have announced a partnership to deliver advanced airline merchandising capabilities to mobile devices, beginning with iPhone and Android smartphones, and soon followed by Blackberry devices. Through this collaboration, airlines can market and sell ancillary products and services to on-the-go air travelers via their mobile phones.
Mobiata integrated FMS2 -- the flexible Farelogix merchandising solution that manages how airline offerings are branded and sold -- into its best-selling FlightTrack and TripDeck travel applications. With the combined solution, airlines can activate the merchandising features in Mobiata’s applications to provide travelers with timely offers based on passenger location or at other points during the purchase and itinerary review process. For example, travelers with carry-on luggage could receive priority boarding offers while en route to the airport; while travelers that either missed a flight or are experiencing weather delays can receive an offer for a day pass to the airline lounge. For more information, visit www.mobiata.com or www.farelogix.com
Mobiata, Farelogix partner for mobile airline merchandising
Mobiata and Farelogix have partnered to let airlines market and sell products and services to on-the-go consumers to address buying behavior and demand.
With the service, airlines can extend their merchandising capabilities, offering consumers priority boarding offers if they have carry-on luggage to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices, with Research In Motion’s BlackBerry coming soon. The partnership between Farelogix and Mobiata lets the airlines make offers based on the consumer’s location.
Ann Arbor Firm In Deal For Airline Offers On Mobile Devices The Ann Arbor mobile travel application developer Mobiata and Miami, Fla.-based Farelogix, a provider of distribution technology and services for the travel industry, announced a partnership Tuesday.
The deal will deliver advanced airline merchandising capabilities to mobile devices, beginning with iPhone and Android smartphones, and soon followed by BlackBerry devices.
Farelogix Enables Mobile Air Merchandising Through Mobiata
Farelogix and Mobiata plan next week to announce airline merchandising on mobile devices, according to officials with both companies.
"While the sale of ancillary services has been limited to check-in kiosks or airline Web sites, through this partnership, participating airlines will be able to offer ancillary services on-demand to travelers on their mobile phones (via Mobiata's FlightTrack and TripDeck travel applications)," according to a prepared statement. "Travelers with carry-on luggage could receive priority boarding offers while en route to the airport, while travelers that either missed a flight or are experiencing weather delays can receive an offer for a day pass to the airline lounge. Airlines can offer individual travelers a variety of add-on services, such as seat upgrades, priority boarding, checked bag, a meal, in-flight entertainment, Internet access, airline lounge access, and more at timely intervals after a flight has been booked, but before travel takes place. These services can be specially priced or 'bundled' for the airlines' most valued frequent flyers, while occasional travelers can pay a small premium to be treated like a frequent flyer."
Farelogix formed a partnership with Ann Arbor-based Mobiata
Farelogix formed a partnership with Ann Arbor-based Mobiata to integrate the Farelogix FMS2 merchandising solution into Mobiata's FlightTrack and TripDeck applications for smart phones.
Two US airlines taking seat upgrades to mobile apps through Farelogix, Mobiata
Two U.S. airlines are testing mobile apps that would deliver seat upgrades, lounge passes, check-ins and/or priority boarding through a new partnership between Farelogix and Mobiata, officials say.
INTERVIEW: AA Execs On Direct Connect Strategy
In February, American Airlines managing director of distribution and merchandizing Suzanne Rubin told The Beat about the carrier's merchandizing strategy, including an application programming interface and ongoing work with Farelogix "to push through unique content" to travel management companies. By October, AA had begun to more openly discuss its direct-connect strategy.
TripIt Mobilizing For Merchandizing
One of TripIt's top priorities for 2010 is figuring out how to be a front end for merchandizing, said co-founder Gregg Brockway last week during a press conference here at which Farelogix introduced TripIt as a key partner for its new Sprk agent desktop solution.
Farelogix tool searches GDSs, direct-connects
Farelogix, a provider of direct-connect and merchandising solutions, unveiled a travel selling platform for agents, called Sprk, at a press briefing here last week.
Airlines Move To Individualized Pricing
Airlines took another step toward individualized pricing — and the attempted de-commoditization of their product — with the Farelogix unveiling last week of a new travel agent booking platform that will help carriers display and offer customized a la carte fees based on the booker’s profile and travel history.
Travel industry ‘trench warfare’ turns Farelogix open source experiment into a dud
Farelogix, a provider of direct-connect and merchandising solutions, unveiled a travel selling platform for agents, called Sprk, at a press briefing here last week.
Payment Systems Join To Help Buyers Track New Air Fees
Payment systems AirPlus International and MasterCard Worldwide are developing a solution that would enable travel buyers to report ancillary airline charges, paralleling similar efforts of U.S. airlines, technology companies and settlement providers. However, the foundation of such a solution—an electronic miscellaneous document that essentially would establish an e-ticket for ancillary charges—will not debut until the second half of 2010, at the earliest.
Farelogix: Cost-value aspects of travel-agency distribution
Travel-agency distribution represents both opportunities and challenges for airlines. Compared to airline.com, product differentiation in the agency channel is limited, and distribution costs are higher. Yet few question the actual efficiency of the transaction process.
What the new wave of direct connections could mean for airline-GDS relationship Since American Airlines told delegates to the Computerized Airline Sales and Marketing Association conference in October that it plans to move all indirect volume to direct connections, industry observers have wondered what such a world would look like and how it would change relationships among airlines, travel agencies, GDSs and customers.
Airlines Advance Direct-Connect Strategies
Citing the need to better tailor services, products and pricing, several airlines are pushing ahead with plans to build new links to distributors, including corporate travel agencies, that don't rely on the traditional connections through global distribution systems.
GUEST: Gillespie On Air Direct Connections Scott Gillespie of KSG Holdings submitted this column following recent
coverage direct-connect strategies at carriers including American Airlines
and Southwest Airlines. Click here to read the story
October 29, 2009
AA Aims For Complete Direct Distribution American Airlines is gearing up to migrate its indirect volume, including
bookings by corporate travel management companies, to direct channels
facilitated by XML and third-party technology firms, according to executives
speaking here this week during a Computerized Airline Sales and Marketing
Association conference. Click here to read the story
October 21, 2009
U.S. DOJ dials up Air Canada in Sabre-Farelogix probe
The U.S. Dept. of Justice inquiry into Sabre’s termination of its developer’s agreement with Farelogix in March and allegations of anti-competitive practices has headed into Canada.
Dubai based Mercator showcases industry-leading technology Delegates travelled to Dubai from airlines based in all five continents and included airline CIOs, Heads of Commercial Operations and senior managers. The dedicated forum was hosted by Mercator, the Dubai-based business technology provider and held at the Emirates Group Headquarters, opposite the new Emirates Terminal Three at Dubai International Airport.
Farelogix to Sabre: What free ride?
As the U.S. Dept. of Justice apparently continues to contact customers of Farelogix and Sabre, Farelogix President and CEO Jim Davidson rejected Sabre’s allegation that their developer’s agreement, which Sabre terminated earlier this year, “was an attempt to free ride off of our database and systems.”
Farelogix: Sabre’s ‘content fragmentation’ charge doesn’t stick
With the U.S. Dept. of Justice making inquiries into allegations by Farelogix that Sabre engaged in anti-competitive practices, Farelogix President and CEO Jim Davidson answered counter-charges by Sabre that Farelogix was encouraging “content fragmentation” and seeking a “free ride” on the back of the Sabre global distribution system.
Farelogix Cements Trend Towards Off-Core Profiles With New Product Line
At this year's NBTA in sunny San Diego, one of the hot topics was the move by the GDS to shift profiles out of the central TPF core.
Ellen Keszler Named to Farelogix Board of Directors
Brings a Wealth of Travel Industry Expertise to the Farelogix Team Click here to read the story
We're not going to take it.
Never did and never will!
OK so call me an old WHO fan - but I find the news that Travellers are pissed off with Travel Booking Sites a revelation of stunning proportions (not).
Open Source Experiment in Travel Industry a Modest Success.
As you may recall, four months ago travel distributor Farelogix kicked off Project Hawkeye, an open source point-of-sale application and made it available for free downloads.
A busy Farelogix rolls out agency res tool, EMD system and 'Project Hawkeye'
Farelogix has been busy: The new product announcements came on the heels of the debut of Project Hawkeye, Farelogix' open-source, Web-based travel management point-of-sale application whose source code is now available for free public download from the company's Web site.
April 01, 2009 Farelogix, Airlines Developing Ancillary Purchasing Reporting
Farelogix today announced plans to launch an airline records warehouse that holds data on ancillary and unbundled purchases made by travelers and can serve as a framework for airlines to provide expenditure reports for such services to travel management companies and corporations.
American Airlines and another U.S. legacy carrier have signed on to help develop the E-FLX Electronic Miscellaneous Document system, according to Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson. A miscellaneous document is a log created when a traveler makes a purchase or changes an existing airline ticket during the course of travel and then is linked with the corresponding passenger name record.
March 27, 2009 Farelogix Unveils Open Source Agent Desktop Application
By Jyothi Shanbhag
TMCnet Contributing Editor
Farelogix, a provider of distribution and optimization technology to the global travel industry, has unveiled its first open-source, Web-based travel management point-of-sale application, called 'Project Hawkeye'.
Farelogix delivers an open source agent desktop application...
Farelogix has launched Project Hawkeye, which is being described as the travel industry’s first open-source, web-based travel management point-of-sale application. The first release of Hawkeye is now complete and is immediately available for free public download from www.farelogix.com/hawkeye. Under the...
March 26, 2009
Project Hawkeye: the next OTAs’ killer?
Farelogix is launching Project Hawkeye, an open-source, web-based point of sale application for the travel industry. Built using .NET and C#, Hawkeye is a robust application that can be used as an ‘off-the-shelf’ agent desktop; or users may download the source code and customize it to fit their particular business, preferences, or workflow needs.
So my topic for 1000th Professor Sabena Blog is the Death of the GDS.
So is this trash talk or is it real?
Actually I think its very real. At CASMA's Spring Conference this week in Dallas (where I am still stuck due to weather) Henry Harteveldt called on the current GDS companies the proverbial big 3 to become GMS - Global Merchandising Systems. He could also mean Global Marketing Solutions. I agree. The age of passive distribution is over.
08-Mar-09 Sabre ends its relationship with Farelogix
Sabre ended its authorized-developer agreement with Farelogix on March 1. The action means that customers of Farelogix, including several major travel management companies, will have to use their own means of retrieving Sabre content instead of doing so in the way they might prefer: through Farelogix’s multisource FLX Platform. The industry has seen these sorts of tactics before, and although they might be in Sabre’s narrow interests and understandable on a certain level, there are plenty of voices noting that the real victim in these sorts of scenarios is innovation in the travel industry.
Dennis Schaal, technology editor for Travel Weekly has written some very insightful articles regarding the lack of full content in the GDS (despite the full content agreement signed in 2005) and more recently the termination of the agreement between Farelogix and Sabre. (links requires a subscription). This is a complex problem that is both an issue of technology and business strategy...
Travel Technology (Norm Rose’s blog), March 5, 2009 (Sabre/FLX)
Posted: 26 Mar 2009 11:39 PM PDT Project Hawkeye Launches Open Source
I have to chose my words carefully following my post on the Death of the GDS. Project Hawkeye is a departure from the old model of standardized closed systems into a brave new world of OpenSource, warts and all.
I have now sat through several presentations on Hawkeye, I have worked with it since it was released and I can truly say it is very different. It brings in many new capabilities that will please both Suppliers and Users. As it shares the same infrastructure for the Farelogix middleware platform, it means that user interaction can now be supported by green screen as well as GUI services side by side and interoperable.
December 30, 2008 Distribution Fragmentation And The Supply Chain: Bracing For 2011 Airline-GDS Talks, Buyers Can Help Pave A New Way by Jay Campbell
The technology structure enabling managed business travelers to make airline and hotel bookings is governed by a Byzantine array of agreements on economics and scope. Since the United States effectively deregulated the global distribution system business in 2003, large airlines and large GDS firms have completed two rounds of negotiations – featuring harsh public commentary, threats and lawsuits – to provide travel management companies and managed travel clients with most of the relevant inventory and pricing. But those deals were hammered out only after a couple dollars of the cost of distributing a ticket shifted from airlines through GDSs and TMCs to buyers. Click here to read the story, which includes comments from Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson.
December 4, 2008 Farelogix's Project Hawkeye aims to mix and Mash developers efforts by Dennis Schaal
Taking a page from Linux and Mozilla Firefox, travel distributor Farelogix intends to release an open source travel management point-of-sale application, dubbed Project Hawkeye, that is scheduled to be available via a free license and download March 26. Click here to read the story.
November 14, 2008 Project Hawkeye to Debut for Farelogix in March by David Sims
Farelogix announced Project Hawkeye, described by company officials as open-source, Web-based travel management point-of-sale application for the travel industry. Click here to read the story.
November 12, 2008 Farelogix Announces Open Source Agent Desktop Application
Farelogix has announced Project Hawkeye, the travel industry's first open-source, web-based travel management point-of-sale application. Scheduled for first public download on March 26, 2009, Hawkeye can be used as an off-the-shelf agent desktop, or customized and extended to fit a particular customer's business, preferences, or workflow needs. Click here to read the story.
November 11, 2008 Travel agent front end, free from Farelogix by David Field
Farelogix, which likes to call itself “the last GNE standing,” says it is taking a tack toward the open source community with a new application it will be offering travel agents for free, starting next March. Dubbing its open source application Hawkeye, the company’s chief, Jim Davidson, tells us that agents can use Hawkeye with or without tying into the main Farelogix products, the FLX platform; agencies can also built the open source front-end package into a custom application. Click here to read the story.
November 11, 2008 Farelogix slates March launch of agent desktop
The first download of Farelogix's point-of-sale application for travel agents, dubbed Project Hawkeye, will be available on March 26, said the company. The desktop is based on open-source technology, giving users free access to the source code and the opportunity to more easily customize the tool to a travel agency's needs, said Farelogix. Click here to read the story.
November 11, 2008 Farelogix Introduces New Desktop Solution for Agents
Farelogix has announced Project Hawkeye, the travel industry’s first open-source, web-based agent desktop application. Unlike the closed systems and proprietary user interfaces in place today, Project Hawkeye will enable travel suppliers and travel agencies to buy and sell products based on their unique agency/corporate policies and workflows, Farelogix said. Click here to read the story.
November 11, 2008 Farelogix Sets March 26 Delivery For Open-source TMC System
Farelogix unveiled “Project Hawkeye” today, calling it the travel industry’s first open-source, web-based travel management point-of-sale application and promising it will be available for download on March 26, 2009. There’s nothing particularly significant in the choice of date, says Jim Davidson, president and CEO of Farelogix: “We just want to show the industry that when you say something, you can deliver … when you put a stake in the ground, people get to working.” Click here to read the story.
November 11, 2008 Farelogix to make front-end source code available to all in bid to spur innovation
Farelogix said it is building an open-source front end for its FLX platform that will better meet the needs of travel management companies and enable airlines to merchandise their products more easily. Click here to read the story.
September 10, 2008 Farelogix, Air Canada sign distribution agreement
Farelogix, a provider of multi-source distribution and independent faring solutions to the travel industry, has signed a multi-year distribution agreement with Air Canada. In working together, Air Canada content, including a-la-carte fare products, product attributes and flight passes, will be available to users of the Farelogix FLX Platform through a direct connect with Air Canada's next-generation AC2U platform. Click here to read the story.
March 5, 2008 Farelogix and ITA software: An update on GNEs
Travel Technology blog, by Norm Rose
A news release late last month announced a new relationship between Farelogix and ITA Software … Many in the corporate travel world may falsely believe that the concept of a GNE (GDS New Entrant a term coined by a former UA executive back in 2005) is old news and is no longer relevant based on the 5 year agreements signed last year between the major airlines and GDS. How are the GNEs continuing to survive and why have the three original GNEs embraced each other? Click here to read the story.