United Joins Sabre DCA Option Programme in Europe

United Airlines
is the latest carrier to join Sabre Travel Network`s
discounted booking fee programme, which was extended this week to include bookings made in Europe.
Caption: Hamish Broom, Sabre Travel Network`s European director of associate
sales and service.

The Direct Connect Availability (DCA) Three-Year Option gives participating carriers a reduced booking fee, fixed for three years.  In exchange they guarantee to make all their web and special fares available in the Sabre global distribution system (GDS), for distribution through all Sabre Connected channels, both online and offline.
The DCA Three-Year Option was introduced for bookings made in the United States in October last year.  Sabre Travel Network said then that it intended to extend the programme to include bookings made in Europe.

DCA is the highest of six different participation levels in the Sabre system.  Airlines signing up to the DCA Three-Year Option get a 10 percent discount for every booking made in Europe, the United States, the US Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.  That rate is then fixed for three years.  The standard discount in all regions where the programme has been introduced is 10 percent off Sabre Travel Network’s 2003 DCA booking fee but, as an added incentive until the end of April, the discount for US bookings will be 10 percent off last year’s rate.

United joins eight other airlines that have recently signed up to the initiative; US Airways, Gulf Air, Air India, Air Jamaica, Aserca, Aeropostal, Sun Country and Aloha Airlines. 

“This programme will provide our mutual customers with a full range of United’s fares in a cost-effective manner, while allowing us to significantly reduce our distribution costs,” said Greg Taylor, United Airlines’ senior vice president of planning.

United Airlines joins DCA Three-Year Option as the programme is introduced to Europe


“We applaud United’s move to reduce fare confusion in the marketplace and to give agents confidence that they have access to all the airline’s published fares,” said John Stow, President of Sabre Travel Network.
“As some European air fares continue to tumble, it’s important that GDSs find ways to drive down distribution costs for their airline customers,” said Hamish Broom, Sabre Travel Network’s European director of associate sales and service.

“By making web and special fares available on the Sabre system we expect to drive a greater number of bookings from agents, enabling us to reduce our booking fees for those airlines that provide us with those fares.  It’s a win-win deal for airlines and Sabre Connected travel agents alike, and agents need not make any contractual or financial arrangements to enjoy the benefits,” Broom said.

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