Sabre says it is ready for American Airlines' NDC plan

On April 3, Sabre said its GDS users will have access to sell, book and service all of American Airlines content, including content that the carrier will only make available via NDC connections.

However, the ability to service bookings with multiple passengers will have to wait a few months.

Sabre on Wednesday said American’s NDC content will be available through its Offer and Order application program interfaces (APIs), its agency point-of-sale Sabre Red 360 and in corporate booking tool GetThere.

“We have a very robust set of capabilities that I’d say align very nicely with the corporate segment,” said Kathy Morgan, vice president of NDC and airline supply for Sabre Travel Solutions.

Those capabilities include servicing, exchanges and seat selection, Morgan said. While Sabre users will be able to sell, book and pay for bookings with multiple passengers, they will be unable to service those bookings in the immediate; servicing availability is expected to be rolled out in June or July.

“When we get to that point, that’s really going to, I think, unlock the opportunities for agencies that are outside of that corporate segment,” she said.

American Airlines has held steady in its plan to restrict some of its content to NDC connections only, despite concerns from travel agencies. Sabre had been mum about its NDC capabilities with American until Wednesday’s announcement.

The two companies have been working together on NDC for some time, said Neil Geurin, managing director of airline retailing for American Airlines.

“April 3 is the start of something that’s changing,” Guerin said. “We know that this is a journey that we’re going to be on for a while. It’s not like we hit April 3 and we’re all going to high five and say we’ve accomplished it, because there’s a ways to go.”

However, Geurin said more capabilities will be rolled out in the latter half of the year with Sabre and other partners.

“It’s only going to continue to get better here over the next couple of months, and I think it’s going to be a really good solution in the long run for all of our customers,” Geurin said.

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