Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What is a GDS (Global Distribution System)?

Global distribution systems were originally usually set up for use by the airlines but were later extended to travel agents. Today, global distribution systems permit users to buy tickets from multiple different providers or airlines. Global distribution systems are also the back finish of most Internet-based travel services.

Global distribution systems (GDSs) are computerized, centralized services that provide travel-related transactions. They cover everything from airline tickets to automobile rentals to hotel rooms & more. 

However, different global distribution systems still service a limited number of airlines. For example, Sabre is used by American Airlines, PARS by USAir, TravelSky by Air China, Worldspan by Delta, etc.

To see how global distribution systems work, let's take a closer look at of the biggies: Amadeus. Amadeus is used by over 90,000 travel agency locations & over 32,000 airline sales offices for the distribution & selling of travel services. The service processes over 480 million transactions per day, & over three million total bookings per day (that is a lot!). As lots of as 74 million passenger name records can be active simultaneously. In terms of airline partners, Amadeus services leading airlines such as British Airways, Qantas, Lufthansa, & more.

To recoup money, over the past few years lots of airlines have pushed travelers to purchasing tickets directly from the airline sites.

Amadeus, Sabre, Galileo, Worldspan booking engine

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