Travel Weeklys Technology E-letter: Nov. 3, 2004

SABRE is becoming more amenable to open-systems technology, a factor that now has it displaying hotel amenity information in the GDSs primary search screen. Sabre subscribers can now access amenity information, such as whether a property has high-speed Web access, up-front for clients. The enhanced amenity information is part of Sabres new hotel shopping platform, which uses Oracle software and Hewlett Packard hardware. Its foundation is a relational database that runs on Unix, which is portable across disparate hardware platforms. For hotels, the new display and platform enhance their abilities to market to agents and improves their abilities to provide the GDS with rate and feature updates, Sabre said.

ATLAS TRAVEL in Milford, Mass., is pushing for better customer service through the use of eStaras Push to Talk functionality on and in clients e-ticket receipts and invoices. The eStara product uses Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to connect clients with travel agents. For example, clients click a button in an e-ticket receipt from their agent, select whether they want to talk by PC or phone and then are connected with their travel agent. The call is free and merely requires access to the Atlas Travel Web site and a telephone. For a demo, visit

BOOKINGBUILDER TECHNOLOGIES signed an agreement that gives it access to Southwest Web sites and launched a product that enables agents to book Southwest -- and other low-cost carriers -- and to integrate the bookings into GDS and Trams back-office systems. Once installed, BookingBuilder monitors the agents availability displays in Amadeus, Galileo, Worldspan and Sabre and prompts the agent at the point of sale when the city pair matches routes flown by low-cost carriers. The application then launches the agents browser, links to the supplier Web site and automatically fills in the availability criteria.  The agent can then choose to have BookingBuilder grab client information from the GDS profile or ClientBase Plus and automatically insert it into the supplier Web site, where the booking is made. BookingBuilder then reads the supplier confirmation page and automatically enters the information -- confirmation number, fare ladder, ticket number, passive air segments and pricing record --into the back-office system.

INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP certified a second online retailer,, a last-minute hotel site, with offices in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and the U.K. joins Travelocity as the only third-party online distributors with the OK to sell IHG-owned and -franchised inventory as part of IHGs new Web-distribution standard.  

ORBITZ instituted a Low Fare Promise on air bookings. If consumers find a published fare on a supplier or online agency Web site thats at least five dollars lower, excluding service fees, than an Orbitz booking, then they are entitled to a $50 coupon per ticket. That coupon can be applied toward future air, vacation package, hotel and car reservations. The fare guarantee doesnt apply to unpublished fares, including auction or wholesaler sites, as well as military, government or corporate fares. It also isnt applicable to Orbitz for Business users if their employers decide not to participate in the program.


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