As Expedia Inc. partner Sabre shuns Farelogix, the Expedia Affiliate Network is benefiting from Farelogix direct-connect technology.
No, the Expedia Affiliate Network doesn't tie into Farelogix, but connects to aggregator ezRez, which accesses Farelogix.
It's all part of a just-announced agreement between AirTran Airways (now a Southwest Airlines subsidiary) and the Expedia Affiliate Network to give consumers the ability to book standalone hotel rooms or vacation pages from AirTranVacations online or through travel agents.
ezRez is the entity which accesses AirTran flight inventory through the airline's Farelogix Direct Connect (Open AXIS API). ezRez uses an SaaS platform.
The AirTran deal is part of a larger technology agreement between ezRez and the Expedia Affiliate Network, which the two will announce next week. Both parties say the technology agreement is not exclusive.
"The ezRez platform is powering the entire AirTranVacations.com website," says Dario Ambrosini, an ezRez spokesman. "We are the spoke for all connectors, so the Expedia Affiliate Network does not directly connect to Farelogix. We have direct connects to both the Farelogix and Expedia Affiliate Network APIs, as well as APIs for car rental and activity providers."
So, AirTran provides the flight inventory through Farelogix and ezRez accesses the Expedia Affiliate Network for hotels and vacation packages. The ezRez SaaS platform then controls business rules, optimization algorithms and the user interface for AirTran Vacations, Ambrosini says.
"Their [Farelogix] API is very robust and includes access to their SPRK platform for travel agents servicing AirTranVacations," Ambrosini says.
Expedia.com has committed to American Airlines to begin using "GDS aggregation technology" to access AA Direct Connect for flight inventory, but hasn't detailed precisely how it will do so.
The Expedia-American Airlines settlement had to irk Sabre and Amadeus, which provides GDS services to Expedia, because the pair, along with Travelport, have been fighting direct-connect and the prospect of GDS bypass.
Sabre says it will play no role in accessing AA Direct Connect, and Amadeus declined to comment on whether it may be the provider.
Note: The original version of this story stated that the Expedia Affiliate Network and ezRez will announce a reseller agreement next week. That information came from an ezRez spokesman, who later clarified the statement and said, EAN "resold us to AirTran as part of a larger partnership." The reselling takes place on a case-by-case basis, the spokesman adds. However, the Expedia Affiliate Network states, in a draft press release, that there is no reseller agreement, but the two companies have a "non-exclusive partnership under which EAN utlizes ezRez technology as a simple solution to offer Expedia's hotel inventory on airline websites." EAN adds: "AirTranVacations is first joint [EAN-ezRez] client to offer Expedia hotel inventory using ezRez technology."