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Westjet, Sabre, Appear Headed For A Divorce


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The commissions are a waste of money, the consumer will check both the airlines website and the aggregators in the first place, if the book through the aggregator the airline is effectively subsidizing the rest of the package. If they book only a flight through the aggregator they're paying commisions on a sale they could have made themselves.

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Guest rozar s'macco

Why don't the airlines or rather airline alliances create their own non-profit distributors? Like how the NFL and other pro sports leagues are just (essentially) a marketing body for its member clubs. After expenses, all additional profit is returned to the clubs.

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Why don't the airlines or rather airline alliances create their own non-profit distributors? Like how the NFL and other pro sports leagues are just (essentially) a marketing body for its member clubs. After expenses, all additional profit is returned to the clubs.

There is a considerable bruhaha in progress about a very similar issue. The IATA (Iinternational Air Transport Association) has been pushing something called NDC (New Distribution Capability) which is an XML (eXtended Markup Language) data communications standard for communications between airlines and travel agents. The original intent perhaps was to make it easier for airlines to market all these extra add-on things they sell through travel agents. However, the GDSs (Global Distribution Sysytems) like SABRE see this as a way for the airlines to bypass the GDSs. There has been much animousity; SABRE and American Airlines have just emerged from a nasty long running legal battle which is said to have cost SABRE a couple of hundred million. The travel agents generally side with the GDSs since they prefer to deal with one GDS rather than with each airline individually.

Someone closer to Westjet than am I can fill us in on how they line up on this matter, but the issue is a global one.

One thing to remember is that distribution costs are a significant cost of running an airline. There will be new airline competitors over the next ten years. Ryanair got to where they are with just their inhouse web site.

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