AMERICAN have "come to terms" on a five-year, "full
content" distribution agreement under which the airline designates
Sabre's Efficient Access Solution "a competitive distribution
channel for American Airlines ticket sales," American said.
American becomes one of Sabre's Efficient Access Solution carriers,
providing travel agencies who participate in the program "the
ability to shop, price and book travel on American Airlines without
incurring a booking source premium charge," said American. The
agreement provides American Airlines content in Sabre's Efficient
Access Solution program with no fee charged by the airline for
agencies participating in the program, according to the agreement.
HOURS' NOTICE, DELTA informed agencies and corporations
hooked up to Amadeus that it would begin charging them a
$3.50-per-segment cost recovery fee on all Amadeus bookings as of
noon Eastern time Sept. 1. The development came as Delta
acknowledged that its content access agreement with Amadeus expired
Aug. 31. "While we have tried over the last several months to
negotiate a new content agreement with Amadeus to ensure its
subscribers would have continued access to Delta's full content,
Amadeus has been unwilling to offer us market-rate booking fees,"
Delta stated on its agency Web site [www.delta.com/travel-agency/home/login/index.jsp] and
in a blast fax and e-mail to agents. "As a result of Amadeus's high
cost structure, Delta is implementing new policies and procedures
for travel service providers who choose to use the Amadeus GDS to
make Delta bookings."
CHAIRMAN GORDON BETHUNE stepped down after five months on
the job when Travelport's sale to the Blackstone Group closed Aug.
23. In the Aug. 31 announcement of Bethune's exit, Travelport said
Chip Schorr, the Blackstone Group's senior managing director, would
replace Bethune, a former CEO of Continental, as chairman of
Travelport. Bethune left Travelport to become nonexecutive chairman
of Aloha Airgroup and Aloha Airlines. When Cendant announced the
Bethune hiring in March, the company stated that Bethune would
remain in the Travelport post after the company was spun off. But,
instead of spinning off Travelport into an independent public
company, Cendant sold the division to Blackstone for $4.3 billion.
Schorr is senior managing director of Blackstone's private equity
group and specializes in technology investments. Prior to joining
Blackstone in 2005, Schorr was a managing director of Citigroup
Venture Capital, one of the two firms that paid more than $1.1
billion to buy Worldspan in 2003.
AIRWAYS signed a deal to offer a registered traveler
program this fall for its operations at New York's Kennedy Airport,
giving the airline's business travelers and other frequent flyers
the opportunity to pay an annual fee of about $80 for separate, and
hopefully faster, security screening. To qualify, under the program
rules established by the Transportation Security Administration,
participants must provide background information about themselves
so they can be prescreened by the TSA. They'll also provide a
biometric identifier such as a fingerprint for a biometric identity
card. The airline is offering the program under an agreement with
Clear, a registered traveler program operated by Verified Identity
Pass, a private-sector company. The BA-Clear agreement also
includes provisions for marketing the program to BA customers
across North America, including corporate accounts. Clear offers a
discount to companies that prepay with one check for 20 or more
TRAVELOCITY is operating a booking engine
on the State of Maryland's tourism Web site and is paying a
commission to the state for every sale. "It isn't the traditional
state office of tourism function," said Dennis Castleman, director
of the Maryland Office of Tourism. "But I believe this is the
future of what state tourism offices will do. It is another step in
using technology that is available to provide more information and
more service to our customer." The booking engine enables consumers
seeking travel and vacation information about Maryland to book air
tickets, car rentals, hotel accommodations and admission to
attractions. The functionality went live on Aug. 25 at www.visitmaryland.org.
Phone: (201) 902-1904
opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].