Worldspan taps into changing distribution

Worldspan is introducing two new optional distribution products to its U.S. travel retail and corporate customers, giving them greater choice, flexibility and control over their businesses as new economics alter the airline distribution landscape. Worldspan’s new Super Access Product and Subscription Access Product, offered as alternatives to the existing General Access Product historically used by Worldspan’s U.S. customers, transcend competitive offerings by providing Worldspan customers a variety of options in the dynamic airline distribution marketplace. The optional product suite offers long-term comprehensive access to the inventories of major U.S. carriers, with varying financial terms to suit customer preferences.

Worldspan’s optional distribution products are being introduced to the marketplace in response to significant changes in the distribution channel that suppliers were demanding, as well as changes being driven by a GDS competitor. To adapt to changing market dynamics, Worldspan is offering options that allow customers the freedom to let their distinct needs shape how they distribute the products of major U.S. carriers that recently finalized new multi-year agreements with Worldspan. The Program Airlines currently include American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

“Worldspan has worked judiciously in developing the greatest amount of flexibility and choice for our U.S. customers. Our new product options offer the control our customers have asked for in managing their relationships with airlines,” said Rakesh Gangwal, Worldspan chairman, president and chief executive officer. “As a business partner, we are empowering our customers with choices in the new distribution environment. And, as a preferred technology partner, we are reaffirming our commitment to delivering the advanced solutions they need to compete and grow.”

The Super Access Product is a premium product offering Worldspan’s retail and corporate customers access to the Program Airlines’ comprehensive content. Each Program Airline has committed not to impose an airline content fee on bookings generated through this product. The Super Access Product also serves as the springboard for developing new merchandising opportunities and new or enhanced airline booking functionality for Worldspan customers. Airline content will encompass schedules, availability, fares (including Web fares) and fare rules, including published fares the Program Airlines sell through their Web sites, third-party Web sites or other distribution systems. Program Airlines will also provide each participating agency or corporation with private fares that apply to that company’s customers, as well as promotional fares, and select merchandising features as these strategies evolve. Super Access Product financial arrangements will be materially different than current arrangements for those who choose this product.

The Subscription Access Product will provide customers with access to full content made available through Worldspan by the Program Airlines, including comprehensive published schedules, availability, fares and fare rules the airlines make available to the general public and through any GDS. Program Airlines may choose to impose airline content fees on bookings generated through this product; however, the Subscription Access Product offers customary financial arrangements between Worldspan and its U.S. customers.


Customers who prefer to stay in the existing General Access Product will continue to receive fares, fare rules, schedules and availability made available by Program Airlines through this product. Program Airlines may choose to restrict content, and/or impose airline content fees on bookings generated through this product. The General Access Product offers customary financial arrangements between Worldspan and its U.S. customers.

While Worldspan’s new optional products support bookings on the Program Airlines, retail and corporate customers are able to shop and book all other participating carriers as usual through Worldspan. The new optional products will be available on September 1, 2006; however, Worldspan customers are encouraged to establish their product preferences immediately.