1. Legacy GDS companies integrate back office functions, itineraries, invoices, schedule changes, and continue to upgrade functions to remain competitive. The majority of carriers appreciate the reality that GDS companies are the most flexible alternative for aggregating necessary information, including merchandising ancillaries, and support the economics. It makes sense to preserve the mutual financial benefits shared with travel agency owners, while supporting the reliable ease of GDS transactions.
2. Directly booking on airline web sites negatively impacts efficiency and expense for travel management companies. The friendly user experience is missing from direct booking transactions, rather travel agency managers find the process longer, harder and more expensive.
3. Maintaining contractual market share commitments remains important. Obtain written confirmation from your GDS provider that the airline web site or other entity is not considered a “GDS” affecting market share commitments, and potentially triggering shortfall penalties.
4. Location, volume, reputation, booking history, and relationships predict the best negotiation outcome. I have yet to meet anyone with a short memory in our industry. It continues to be true that segment numbers matter and so does the producer’s reputation for integrity.
5. Consortia and GDS hosting companies may provide a safe option for smaller producers. There are a number of excellent GDS hosting options available through your national travel agency consortia and other reputable hosts depending on your GDS preference.
To contact the author:
Rose A. Haché, Esq., CTIE