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Sat, Mar 05, 2011

US Airways Signs Distribution, Ancillaries Agreement With Sabre

But Airline Disagrees With Sabre's Characterization Of The Deal

There's a bit of a war of words brewing between the airfare comparison site Sabre and US Airways. On Thursday, Sabre issued a news release saying the airline had signed a multi-year, full content distribution and merchandising agreement with Sabre Travel Network, making all of its fares and schedules available to Sabre Connected travel agents, including its ancillaries.

“US Airways recognizes the value of the Sabre global distribution system and our innovative leadership in helping airlines market and sell their products, including ancillaries, to millions of travelers worldwide,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “Sabre is the world’s most efficient, cost-effective travel marketplace and US Airways joins the many global airlines that understand the GDS is an important source of revenue and revenue growth.”

US Airways will include its initial ancillary, Choice Seats, in the Sabre GDS. US Airways’ Choice Seats provides the option for travelers to purchase some of the most popular seats in the coach cabin for an additional fee.

In addition to Thursday's announced full content deal with US Airways, Sabre also has full content, long-term distribution agreements in place with other U.S. major carriers including, United Airlines, Continental Airlines and the recently merged Delta-Northwest.

"US Airways joins a number of airlines that leverage Sabre technology today to market and sell ancillaries, including United Airlines, Air New Zealand, Qantas, WestJet, Porter Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines. In the coming months even more airlines will begin selling ancillaries in the Sabre GDS," the release says.

But while acknowledging the agreement, US Airways issued a statement of its own, saying that Sabre's characterization of the deal is not that of the airline.

"US Airways confirms that it has signed multi-year agreements with Sabre and Travelocity (its wholly owned online travel agency)," the statement reads. "However, US Airways was not consulted on Sabre's recent press release and disclaims any characterizations by Sabre of US Airways' views of Sabre, Travelocity, or US Airways' relationships with those companies."

FMI: www.sabre.com, www.usairways.com

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