20 February 2012

The End of GDS Isolation. New Era of Openness?

Maybe its just me but I note a distinct change in the GDS rhetoric of late. And this is good for everyone.

The latest moves by the Legacy GDS players follows years of isolation by each of the GDSs who had developed different protocols for each user interaction from the basic IBM TPF/ALC command set. There has been a lot of prior art involved in the GDS interaction commands. I believe there is even a patent or two out there concerning how interaction with the GDS takes place. In 1988 I led a team that developed PARS Manager an application that allowed screen highlighting it was originally developed for any GDS but was implemented for PARS. IBM’s PC Travel was actually a neutral application with different command sets for each airline and GDS. PC Travel was replaced by ACSA (here is a reference to it http://www-01.ibm.com/software/htp/tpf/news/archive/v6n2a08.htm )

So this is not new. What is new is that the GDSs themselves are now promoting their “Open”ness. The GDSs are coming into the market joining LUTE’s CommandPRO (sm) in offering flexible command sets inbound any host direct or indirect based on Farelogix’s Hawkeye Opensource licensed product.

First up is Tripcase from Sabre http://www.tripcase.com/travelsmarter/. This will take in ANY itinerary object in the same way as Tripit and others already do. Sabre is promoting this and has already signed several agents to work with this. At the Travel Technolog Europe/Business Travel joint shows in London HRG revealed that they were a customer of Tripcase. Over on the other side of the hall, Travelport was not to be outdone. It was out there calling a spade a spade. Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. The Smartpoint App now offers any GDS input talking to the Travelport Hosts. http://www.travelportsmartpointapp.com/ An yes.. they still have 3 of their own that need to be spoken to. These are Worldspan, Apollo (US) and Galileo (Rest of the World).

So far no word from Amadeus but Amadeus One could easily be adapted with a neutral set of command inputs.

Perhaps we should have Kirk and Spock as the spokepersons for these new apps . I think we can have the universal desktop/api - er I mean - communicator!

Let’s hope that this results in a better service for agents and thereby a better service for the consumer at large?

Am I optimistic? I dont think actually that this will happen. It takes a VERY LONG TIME for a Leopard to change his spots.


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