GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - August 2012NewsBy PhocusWire | August 29, 2012Share This article was originally published on Product news, releases, projects and more from the global distribution systems during August 2012 - all here, in one easy read.More recent updates first:Wednesday 29 August 2012:eNett and Mastercard sign technology partnership. The Travelport co-owned business, which provide payment and fulfilment services to the travel industry, has agreed to work with Mastercard for the next five years so the credit card giant becomes the exclusive payment partner for all eNett virtual account numbers in Europe.United suffers major network outage, passengers hit as systems collapseAnother hotel price fixing class action emerges in the US, same defendants as previous complaintsTuesday 28 August 2012:Digital Travel signs GDS deal with Travelport. The Australia-based agency group will use the Galileo distribution system for customers to its so-called VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) service for Asian residents. Digital Travel has used Galileo since 1992 and has expanded since to include four branches in Queensland and New South Wales.Sabre finds first European carrier in Alitalia to include ancillary services on the GDS. The agreement is an extension of its so-called full content deal with the Italian airline, but does now actually include other content such as the ability for Sabre-connected agents to book services such as pre-paid baggage and access to airport lounges. Sabre says the additional ancillary agrement uses technology standards developed by ATPCO and IATA.Travelport trials chauffeur-driven transfer booking service. The service, known as Travelport Drive Me, is being piloted with a number of Galileo-connected agents in Asia, allowing them to book transfers at 21 airports in China, India, Singapore and the Philippines. Bookings are integrated into a customer's existing PNR and agents are able to earn commission for any products they secure for clients.Mobile travel apps: enjoy the opportunities but beware of the legal risksMonday 27 August 2012:Abacus agrees distribution deal with Scoot. The GDS becomes the first to take fares and inventory from the new low cost carrier in the Asia-Pacific region following its launch as a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines and first flight in June this year. The carrier flies between Thailand, Australia, Singapore, China, Japan and Taiwan.WhenCorp helps businesses list their event calendars everywhere onlineEleven important steps when picking travel agent and tour operator softwareFriday 24 August 2012:Amadeus and Jet Airways sign booking partnership. The India-based low cost carrier will use the Amadeus Ticket Changer system, allowing travel agencies to manage and edit flight details for passengers.Travelport knocked back after US court dismisses antitrust claim in American Airlines caseAncillary Mania: US hotels forecast to earn $1.95B in fees and surcharges in 2012Hotel price fixing case will likely do little but generate legal fee bonanzaWednesday 22 August 2012:Abacus claims jump in mobile use. The Asia-Pacific GDS says it has seen a 50% increase in the number of active subscribers to its mobile services in the first half of 2012. The jump relates to around 78,000 visits over the period, each using a suite of services including Abacus VirtuallyThere.Tnooz-PhoCusWright FREE Webinar: LIVE research with YOU as the subjectHotel price fixing saga switches to the US with class action against Expedia and othersGetGoing introduces the surprise element to air ticket bookingsDid Google buy Frommer’s for its search engine juice? No, there is a lot more going onFriday 17 August 2012:Sabre inks distribution deal with AviancaTaca. The deal allows Sabre-connected agents to access fares, schedules and ancillary services from the Avianca, TACA and Aerogal brands. Companies using the GetThere system will also have access.How image selection affects click-through rates on OTA hotel listingsThursday 16 August 2012:Amadeus and Lotus Tours sign technology partnership. The ten-year agreement sees the Hong Kong-based travel agency take on a number of tools from Amadeus, including booking platform for consumers, corporate self-booking service and use of the Amadeus Travel Office Manager system.Sabre appears at Washington DC hearings. The company was at a US Department of Transportation advisory committee hearing to investigate whether regulators should require airlines to list ancillary services and fees in the GDSs. Sabre demonstrated its Red travel agent platform to members of the committee. [More here]Tnooz-Sabre webinar VIDEO: Technology and its massive impact on the travel experienceHopper nears launch with additional $12M in fundingWednesday 15 August 2012:Travelport appoints general manager for Southern Africa. Robyn Christie will be based in Johannesburg from October this year and joins from the Association of South African Travel Agents (ASATA) where she was CEO since 2007. Between 1997 and 2006, Christie held a number of roles with Diners Club International, eventually becoming director of marketing and sales. The region also has a new director of regional sales in the form of Marco Cristiofoli who was promoted from within the company.Hotel prices in Asia – August to October 2012Ancillary Mania: Spirit scored $142 Million in passenger usage fees [INFOGRAPHIC]Ancillary Mania: A wave of cruise fees crests with Carnival’s faster boarding programFAIL videos – the latest way to market a GDS it appearsGoogle introduces flight tracking system in search results, using your booking emailsUnited Airlines frequent flier miles can now buy music, moviesThe long and convoluted road to a mobile travel strategy [Part 2 of 2]Thursday 9 August 2012:Travelport and LOT Polish Airlines sign new distribution agreement. The multi-year deal gives Apollo, Worldspan and Galileo-connected agents access to fares, seat availability and schedules.Amadeus shares suspended during Madrid trading. The incident took place for one hour on Wednesday this week after it emerged IAG (umbrella airline group leading Iberia and British Airways) hedged a 6.7% stake in the company.Avior Airlines agrees new distribution partnership with Travelport. The deals also includes an update to existing Direct Sell and Seamless Availability products used by the Venezuelan carrier. The full content agreement gives GDS-connected agents access to the Barcelona, Venezuela-based airline's fares and inventory.Travelport predicts turnaround in 2013 as United loss hits latest results, builds trimmed Universal DesktopTravelport second quarter 2012 results – at-a-glance summaryThe long and convoluted road to a mobile travel strategy [Part 1 of 2]Tuesday 7 August 2012:Air China and Travelport agree full content distribution deal. The agreement allows Worldspan, Galileo and Apollo-connected agents to gain access to Air China's full range of fares and inventory. The carrier will also be integrating Travelport's ViewTrip service to allow passengers to check in online travel and access flight and information updates.Amadeus and Delta strike agreement to see Economy Comfort tickets made available to travel agents. Any agent connected to Amadeus will be able to book the premium economy seats (i.e. extra legroom) with the carrier. The agreement follows a similar package signed between Travelport and Delta in June this year.Abacus signs technology deal with Zest Air. The partnership will see the Philippines-based carrier use Abacus to distribute content and e-tickets through the GDS's eTAT platform. The airline has recently expanded its route network beyond the Philippines and Chinese network to include Korea on its list of destinations.The problem with general managers in hotelsMonday 6 August 2012:Travelport has at least tripled its inventory of hotels thanks to signing two new aggregators on in its Travelport Rooms and More hotel booking engine. More than 700,000 commissionable supplier offers are presented on on more than 340,000 unique hotel properties.Ancillary Friday: American goes the last mile with luggage, and US Airways expands its menuAmadeus first half 2012 results – at-a-glance summaryFriday 3 August 2012:Sabre claims more than 10,000 members for AgentStream network. The milestone was passed this week after the system extended to cover companies in Asia-Pacific, including the Orient Express Travel Group. The system is now being used in the United States, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.LiveRez signals start of vacation rental tech overhaul, signs to industry distribution systemWhat are the top five questions from startups entering the travel industry?THack developer hackathon heads west – Silicon Valley here we comeEuropean hotel prices – August to October 2012Thursday 2 August 2012:Oman Air renews technology deal with Sabre. The Middle Eastern carrier uses Sabre Airline solutions for its reservation system technology. Oman Air currently flies to destinations across the region, in Asia and also Europe, including London, Paris and Milan.Sabre buys airline information service Prism, probably the big acquisition disclosed in secret docsIATA distribution initiative: The GDS viewWednesday 1 August 2012:Travelport signs distribution agreement with China Southern Airlines. The multi-year deal gives Worldspan and Galileo-connected agents around the world the ability to search and book fares with the carrier. The deal is effective immediately, Travelport says, with real-time access to content. The carrier currently flies to 150 destinations in China and a further 40 cities elsewhere in China.American Airlines offers direct-connect bounty via Priceline, talks with business travel giants stallTechnology is NOT the barrier to accessing airline ancillary productsWhat will Apple do in travel? More questions than answersHotel revolution needed: Start with guarantee policies and pull GDSs out of the Old SchoolPrevious GDS updates:GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - July 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - June 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - May 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - April 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - March 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - February 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - January 2012GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - December 2011GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - November 2011GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - October 2011GDS news from Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - September 2011GDS news: Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - August 2011GDS news: Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus - July 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - June 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - May 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - April 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - March 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - February 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - January 2011Travelport, Amadeus, Sabre, Abacus briefs - December 2010GDS Bitesize - January 2010 to November 2010NB: Globe technology image via Shutterstock.