LAS VEGAS -- Southwest, which recently announced it will begin offering full functionality within the Amadeus and Travelport GDSs, also sought a similar arrangement with Sabre, according to chief revenue officer Andrew Watterson.
"We are certainly open to doing a deal with Sabre, they are just out of market at this point in time," Waterson said during an interview at the International Aviation Forecast Summit here Monday. "We thought we had a deal with them, but when it came to the terms and conditions it fell through. So we've both taken a step back, and if they would like to do business with us we are certainly open to doing business with them."
Southwest has had a limited content arrangement with Sabre since the 1990s. But travel advisors who book the carrier through Sabre must still call an agent for any ticket modification that is not a cancellation.
Southwest has never worked with Travelport and Amadeus. However, under the agreements the carrier announced Aug. 5, agents will be able to book, change, cancel or modify Southwest reservations directly through the both GDSs. Southwest expects to have its Travelport and Amadeus functionality in place in mid-2020.
Waterson said that Southwest has had strong success with the direct-connect solution it has offered to airlines over the past several years, and it is building upon that with the full functionality arrangements it has made with Travelport and Amadeus and that it sought with Sabre.
In addition, last month Southwest joined the airline product marketplace NDC Exchange, adding a new method for agencies to access its direct connect.