Sabre Holdings Corporation has rolled out strategic plans for its multihosting systems that include significant enhancements in 2001 to the Sabre Passenger Reservation System.
During a recent meeting with Sabre`s Multihost Customer Council, Sabre management presented a 2001 proposed product plan that outlined advanced technological features, such as a new Passenger Name Record Complex (PNRC), a direct connect car and hotel functionality, and an upgrade in the Sabre Qik multihost product. The company said the enhancements are expected to provide Sabre multihost customers with more efficient tools and tremendous cost savings.
“We are fully committed to supporting and actively growing our current multihost customer list,`` said Joe Saliba, acting president of Sabre`s Outsourcing and Software Solutions division. “Recently, we asked our multihost customers for their input in identifying the strategic areas where Sabre should focus in order to make our products more attractive. As a result, we have developed a product investment plan that will deliver an even more superior product.``
Sabre Passenger Reservations System is one of three multihosting systems that Sabre provides. Salida described it as a highly sophisticated, fully integrated system that manages an airline`s reservations function. Currently, the system processes more than 110 million messages per day with a response time of two seconds. The Passenger Reservations System contains 45 million fares that give Sabre Connected travel agents the ability to search for the lowest fares worldwide.
Sabre`s new offerings for 2001 include:
* Passenger Name Record Complex (PNRC) is a unique enhancement that consolidates all passenger name records (PNR) regardless of which distribution channel (e.g. airlines, Web sites, corporate or travel agencies) the reservation is made through. The system provides all distribution channels with the same real-time PNR information.
* Electronic ticketing with 16 coupons allows travelers with multiple segments to have one PNR. Currently, travelers with more than four segments require multiple PNRs for their trip.
* Multi-payment capabilities for electronic ticketing allows a traveler to use multiple forms of payments during one transaction.
* Sabre Airport Check-in System International will be enhanced to feature a new automation process that allows flight changes to immediately be integrated into the departure control system. Currently this process is manual.
* Direct connection to car and hotel allows an airline`s Web site and reservations department to provide immediate confirmation of hotel accommodations and car rental requests.
* Sabre Qik-3 upgrade plans are being made to upgrade Sabre Qik users to the new Qik 3 product that was introduced earlier this year.
“As we move into 2001, Sabre is pursuing a very aggressive business model that allows us to leverage our deep industry knowledge of the airline industry to invest, research and develop in new products for this important customer set,” Saliba said.
Last month, Saliba announced that Sabre, American Airlines and Symbol Technologies would provide airline airport agents with a handheld mobile computing solution. The handheld computer is integrated with wireless local area network communications to access passenger flight information and check-in travelers anywhere in the gate area.
Called Sabre RovingAgent, Saliba said the system is currently being used by American Airlines at the San Jose International Airport. American Airlines, citing the successful test during the ultra-busy summer travel season, is planning to roll out the technology to other highly trafficked airports, including Chicago O`Hare International Airport, the world`s busiest airport, New York`s La Guardia Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The RovingAgent is centered around a Symbol SPT1740 Web-enabled handheld computer that integrates Sabre`s global distribution system and Symbol`s Spectrum 24 wireless LAN solution to create a mobile travel application, which performs airport tasks that are typically executed at a fixed counter. A tiny bar-code laser scanner and pen access screen gives Roving Agent the capability to check in travelers, confirm arrival and departure times, access frequent traveler information and change seating. A mini Comtec printer produces boarding passes on the spot.
“As the volume of travelers using airports increases, airlines will be faced with finding alternative means to process passengers. RovingAgent is just one of several products Sabre has developed to help airlines meet this need,” Saliba said. “This innovative technology decreases the time it takes for ticket agents to assist customers, helping to increase passenger satisfaction and expedite the boarding process.”