The ink was hardly signed in the new US Airways and Sabre full-content agreement when the airline publicly took Sabre to task in -- of all things -- a press release.
In response to Sabre's March 1 press release announcing the pact, US Airways says:
"US Airways confirms that it has signed multi-year agreements with Sabre and Travelocity (its wholly owned online travel agency). However, US Airways was not consulted on Sabre's recent press release and disclaims any characterizations by Sabre of US Airways' views of Sabre, Travelocity, or US Airways' relationships with those companies."
In its own press release, Sabre states, among other things:
“US Airways recognizes the value of the Sabre global distribution system and our innovative leadership in helping airlines market and sell their products, including ancillaries, to millions of travelers worldwide,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “Sabre is the world’s most efficient, cost-effective travel marketplace and US Airways joins the many global airlines that understand the GDS is an important source of revenue and revenue growth.”
US Airways declined to comment beyond its brief press release.
But, with American Airlines battling Sabre and Travelport over direct-connects and other airlines ramping up their merchandising strategies on ancillary services, inside and outside the GDSs, perhaps US Airways felt some sensitivity about being trotted out by Sabre as a case study in GDS-airline ancillary fee harmony.
For its part, in reaction to the US Airways press release, Sabre says:
“The purpose of Sabre’s press release was to highlight the value to all travel industry constituents of the renewed Sabre/US Airways agreement. We are focused on working with US Airways to distribute their fares, including ancillaries, through the Sabre system in a manner that supports their growth strategies and meets the needs of all industry stakeholders.”
US Airways seemingly declined to make a joint announcement with Sabre about their new full-content agreement.
The agreement calls for US Airways to distribute its Choice Seats product through the Sabre GDS and there is no indication that the airline is backing away from that commitment.