Sabre Holdings Chairman and CEO Discusses Future

The airlines “need a push” to provide a richer array of information, he says.

In an interview, Sabre Holdings Chairman and CEO Sam Gilliland talks about the industry’s next steps in distributing ancillary airline services through the GDS. He says that his focus in terms of enabling such services is “the front-end shopping, so the consumer and traveller is making the right choice up front,” to have brands and pricing visible during the shopping process. He urges airlines to providing a rich array of data for Sabre’s Air Total Pricing initiative and points to the success of the older Car Total Pricing product.

“It was hugely successful because it allowed the customer to have a good understanding, before they turned their car back in, of what they had purchased,” he explains. “Down to the nickel, it was predicting what the price would be. That’s what we’re looking at here as well. We don’t want any surprises and we want travellers to have the information before they leave.” In some cases, he adds, the airlines need a push to provide such information without regulation. Gilliland goes on to comment on the rapid increase in hotel bookings through the GDS, improving the “attach rate” between an air booking and a hotel booking.

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