SELLING SEATS 1
Bookings in the airline industry have seen numerous changes withespecially with the invention of computerized reservation. Accordingto McDonald (2004), the emergence of Sabre in 1964 changed thecommercial aviation industry. The idea of using computers in securingreservation attracted other stakeholders who sought to benefit fromthe program. As the author puts it, the primary objective was todesign a program that would meet the needs of at least 10 majorairlines (McDonald, 2004). However, other major airlines had enteredthe computer age. They included Delta Airlines and Eastern Airlinesthat had effective internal systems. This resulted in an intensecompetition. Sabre was advantageous to its users since they couldcharge other companies for making reservations through it. However,after the airline deregulation in 1978, some companies felt that itwas unnecessary to own a computerized system (McDonald, 2004).
The increased fees also instigated other companies including EasternAirlines to develop the System One Direct Access (SODA) (Meghji &Sanders, 2013). Delta Airlines also developed an internal reservationsystem dubbed DATAS II. However, the bias in the reservation promptedthe CAB to institute rules to curb subjective practices in 1984. Thedemand to meet the needs of the consumers led to some companiesintegrating their systems with hotel bookings (McDonald, 2004). Thisinstigated the conception of The Hotel Industry Switch Company(THISCo.). However, the developers of THISCo and Sabre could notagree to integrate the two systems. However, in 1989, Sabre becamethe first system to join with THISCo. Texas and Eastern Airlinesdeveloped an interest for SODA and proposed to buy it. The majorairlines in Europe formed a coalition to facilitate globaldistribution, and they courted SODA to provide bookings.
Despite being a preferred system, Sabre was considered to be adominant American program and therefore, Asian and Japanese carriersstrived to keep it out of their markets. However, in Australia, Sabreformed a pact with Qantas, and it was prompted in the local marketunder the name Fantasia (McDonald, 2004). With time, the Asian andJapanese airlines discovered that it was counterproductive to keepalienate themselves from technology and in 1990, they accepted toinclude Sabre as part of its reservations system. A series of mergersand acquisitions rendered it impossible for a system to be controlledby a single airline. The GDS companies brought a revolution incomputerized bookings by launching online travel agencies. Thisinstigated airlines to develop their own online platforms with anobjective of cutting the distribution costs (Belobaba, Odoni &Barnhart, 2015).
Summarily, the article is instrumental in the era of airline andeconomic regulation. It explains the transformation from manual tocomputerized reservation systems that changed the way customers madetheir bookings. It also provides valuable information on the widelyused systems in the world at the time including Sabre and SODA. Onaddition, the article is informative on the global adoption oftechnology in the airline industry as a result of the changingeconomic trends. The Asian and Japanese companies that were initiallyopposed to Sabre found t economically hurting before accepting thesystem later on. It also provides information on the establishment ofthe individually owned online travel agencies.
Belobaba, P., Odoni, A., & Barnhart, C. (2015). The globalairline industry. Hobboken: John Wiley & Sons.
McDonald, M. (2004). Selling seats: paper gave way to computers. ATW:Air Transport World.
Meghji, K., & Sanders, N. (2013). U.S. patent application No.13/918,665.