My imaginary conversation with
airline intelligentsia. P. 12
IN OTHER NEWS
The ups and downs of RCCL’s
fortunes and misfortunes P. 6
The resilience of the American
vacation is myth. P. 37
section 1 of 2
THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
JULY 28, 2008
[ LETTER, EMAIL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED]
Crandall, BTC want president
to call special energy session
By Michael Fabey
of our national
by any measure
Bob Crandall is making headlines again.
A few weeks after publicly
suggesting the government
should reregulate the airline
industry, the former chairman and CEO of American
Airlines has teamed up with
Kevin Mitchell, chairman of
the Business Travel Coalition, to start a letter-writing campaign asking President Bush
to convene a special session of Congress to
forge a better energy policy.
They were joined last week by J. W. “Bill”
Marriott, Jr., chairman and
CEO of Marriott, who said,
“Congress shouldn’t be going
home in August while travelers in America are finding it
harder and harder to go anywhere.”
In a phone interview, Crandall said he gave the campaign
a “zero to 1%” chance of succeeding.
“But how else do you bring drama to the
situation?” Crandall asked.
He added, “I guess I’m just a pissed-off
See CRANDALL on Page 39
[ A LA CARTE PRICING DEMANDS NEW TECHNOLOGY ]
GDSs come under growing pressure
to handle unbundled airline services
By Dan Luzadder
The GDSs that perform trillions of computer
tasks each day to put travelers in airline seats,
hotel rooms or rental cars are facing unprecedented pressures for a technological overhaul that could reshape the reservations network that has served travel agents and their
Travcoa builds Banyan Tree is Europe seeks
luxury product planning five ideas for
on India desti- developments integrating air,
nations. in Mexico. rail bookings.
P. 26 P. 30 P. 19
clients for 50 years.
The multibillion-dollar players who process all this ticketing and reservations data
— Amadeus, Travelport GDS and Sabre —
all acknowledge that they are scrambling to
cover the needs of U.S. airlines as the carriers
overhaul their own costs and revenue models
under the crush of high oil prices.
With an urgency that now reflects concerns about the day-to-day financial stability of major U.S. carriers, the airlines are
pressuring GDS operators to move faster to
upgrade systems to enable them to promote,
sell and collect fees for a la carte services.
Airlines are also looking for more efficient
and pinpoint-accurate technology to recover
the small fees they pay for credit card transactions and similar costs, which add up to
tens of millions of dollars annually.
The failure of GDSs to move quickly
enough to accommodate the accounting for unbundled, a la carte add-ons like
checked baggage, premium seats, meals and
beverages, while simultaneously enabling
See TECHNOLOGY on Page 38
PS UP LE LC OI AU LT