Sabre and its Travelocity unit signed multi-year full-content and merchandising agreements with US Airways, with the proviso that they will get access to the airline's Choice Seats ancillary service.
Choice Seats, which is currently unavailable to travel agencies through their global distribution systems, generally offers window and aisle seats toward the front of coach. The cost to reserve Choice Seats varies by destination, flight distance and time of day.
Neither Sabre nor US Airways provided a timetable for implementation of Choice Seats.
Sabre spokeswoman Nancy St. Pierre says the company plans to initially implement Choice Seats through a direct settlement solution with the airline and not through ARC.
"We continue discussions with the airline about future adoption of IATA EMD (Electr0nic Miscellaneous Document)," St. Pierre says.
A little more than a month ago, Expedia, too, signed a full-content agreement with US Airways, noting it was working with Sabre, which powers Expedia.com, to implement the airline's Choice Seats.
In an email to travel agencies March 1 announcing the US Airways agreement, Sabre noted that it has a "direct-connect" with US Airways "for interactive, pre-reserved seats and frequent travel number verification."
This direct-connect, Sabre says, already enables travel agents to reserve US Airways Special Preserved seats for US Airways elite travelers.
St. Pierre notes that the direct-connect in question is " not new. We have direct-connects with every airline we do business with via the GDS."