The JetBlue reservations system is slated to cut over from Navitaire to SabreSonic Jan. 29, a move the airline says will bring enhanced capabilities for travel agents through the Sabre, Travelport and Amadeus global distribution systems.
However, despite the changes, travel agents using their GDSs to access JetBlue still -- for now, at least -- will lack basic functionalities that consumers take for granted when booking JetBlue.
JetBlue, in a FAQ [pdf] for travel agencies, says the switch to Sabre as the host for the airline's reservations system brings the following improvements in the GDSs for travel agents: last seat availability, better inventory and fare capabilities, and "industry-standard e-ticketing."
Still, interactive seatmaps and the ability to book specific seat assignments won't be available immediately in the GDSs, although JetBlue says "we are working to incorporate that functionality at a future date." So, for now, travel agents must view the interactive seatmaps or reserve specific seats -- consumer-like -- on the JetBlue website.
Short of that, travel agents can request via teletype [my italics] through their GDSs a general aisle or window seat request, the airline says.
Yes, via teletype.
The same lack of functionality -- either by design or because of technical capability shortcomings -- pertains to some ancillary services. Even with the cutover to SabreSonic, JetBlue says travel agents seeking to book or change an Even More Legroom seat will have to do these tasks on JetBlue.com because this functionality will not be available through the GDSs. Travelers can also carry out these tasks at airport kiosks or ticket counters.
With the switch to SabreSonic, look for changes, too, in JetBlue's TrueBlue rewards program, although the airline is being coy about the details.
"All members will be advised about changes to the accrual of benefits and rewards through communications with JetBlue..." the airline says.
JetBlue's deal to terminate Navitaire as the host of the airline's reservations system had been previously announced, but the exact timing of the switch had been unknown until now.