Airlines Trying To Cut Out The Middlemen… Again

from the keep-on-cutting dept

Buying plane tickets online has become quite common. In fact, for many of us, the idea of buying any other way seems quite strange. However, there are some interesting changes taking place in the online ticketing world. While the first generation of online travel booking sites tapped directly into the big ticket distribution systems like SABRE to cut out “middlemen” travel agents, it looks like the airlines are now realizing that those same systems have now become middlemen themselves. So, as the contracts airlines have with those systems begin to expire, they’re looking, instead, to partner with a new generation of internet services that simply crawl the airlines’ websites directly, rather than tapping into a database that it costs money to be a part of. In other words, they’re recognizing the promise of web services. Instead of paying to be in a centralized database, they can just publish their own info directly and let various services pull or crawl it. Of course, it seems like the airlines are a bit behind in realizing this. Hotels recognized the very same issue two years ago and have been pushing to take back control over the sale of their own inventory ever since.

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