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by Alex Xavier
We’ve all been there. We complain about the extra couple of seconds it takes for a webpage to load or the “fast food” that’s not fast. Let’s face it: consumers are more demanding than ever. They want it now and they want it their way.
How did we go from traditional mail delivery to same-day delivery service? How did the multi-billion-dollar travel industry, serving millions of travelers, get past the inefficient manual reservations process? The evolution of technology and automation tools has made the impossible possible.
From Handwritten Notes to Digital Reservation Systems
In the early 1950s, when the travel industry saw an increase in demand for air travel following World War II, airlines were having to manage reservations manually, on notecards, causing inaccuracies like over-or under-booked flights, passenger service issues, and underutilized aircraft. This arduous process was frustrating for airlines, agency business owners and travelers alike, and forced a conversation to expedite a change to the process.
Following years of inefficiencies, American Airlines developed break-through technology facilitating the first B2B electronic commerce system. This allowed the airline to store seat availability in a centralized database, which then enabled travel agencies to be more productive, turning them into the airline’s sales force. Shopping and booking flights were changed forever.
The growth of the travel industry continued through the decades following, and with that, airline routes and booking processes became even more complicated. Travel agencies became the primary source for travelers to reserve and book flights, requiring even more robust reservation systems. The SABRE reservation system was introduced as the first shopping and booking system available to travel agencies in 1972. Within the next 20 years, the SABRE system expanded, storing 36 million fares, creating more than 1 billion fare options combined, and running on over 130,000 travel agency terminals worldwide. Travel agencies were finally able to shop and book fares anywhere, anytime. SABRE found itself at the intersection of Travel and Technology.
Customization in Today’s Travel Desktop
Fast forward to today, Sabre has introduced the new Sabre Red Workspace, an open systems tool to shop and book travel, providing air pricing tools to manage ancillary services, and sophisticated reporting and efficiency tools. As competition among airlines, travel agencies, and the internet continues to grow, we recognize the workspace cannot be a “one-size fits all” tool. That’s why we’ve created Sabre Red Apps; plugins to customize the Sabre Red Workspace, helping travel agencies differentiate their customer service, creating up-selling opportunities and extending the capabilities of the workspace. Public Red Apps are available via the Sabre Red App Centre, or agencies can build their own private Red App using the latest Sabre Red Workspace Developer Toolkit. Shopping, booking, and customizing the Workspace have never been easier.
Where We’re Headed – More Efficiency with Customizable, Integrated Solutions
Sabre is no stranger to change or leveraging new technology and automation. That’s why our story doesn’t stop here. On February 8th, Sabre will introduce new ways to customize the new Sabre Red Workspace, taking your customer service to a whole new level. The new Sabre Red Workspace Developer Toolkit 3.3 will offer opportunities for additional revenue streams, increased efficiencies and it features a new modular design to enable technical and operational flexibility by leveraging big data, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning.
Want to learn more about the Sabre Development Toolkit 3.3? Sign-up below to be notified when the SDK 3.3 is released.
Stay tuned for more updates!