United Airlines and Amadeus, one of the major Global Distribution Systems, signed an agreement to extend the availability of United fare and inventory data for Amadeus subscribers into 2013. This deal will allow travel agents using the Amadeus system to continue to sell seats to their customers.
Of particular note in the announcement, however, is not simply that the partnership was extended but that it was improved as well. Starting in mid-2012 Amadeus-based agents will not only be able to sell regular inventory on United flights but they will also be able to sell the company’s Economy Plus seating. Economy Plus is one of many ancillary services that United makes available for purchase and this deal represents the airline working with the GDS company to make such an ancillary purchase available via the GDS rather than solely directly via a Direct sales model.
With more and more airlines making the push to bring such ancillary sales wholly into the Direct model it is rather refreshing to see at least one company bucking that trend and working with their GDS partners to make the options available in a centralized and transparent manner. It will be interesting to see what other options flow into this relationship over the coming months and years.
- Is air travel a commodity or not?
- Delta expands Economy Comfort deployment
- Delta launches Economy Comfort product
- United commits to keeping EconomyPlus in the new fleet
- Let’s talk airfare and distribution
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