today announced it is combining its Momentum and Preferred Fares programs to launch Preferred Fares Selectsm(PFS) in response to the interests and needs of its travel agency and airline customers. Galileo is in the process of transitioning existing participants to the new program.
Preferred Fares Select provides participating airlines an opportunity to lock in and immediately reduce fees on all U.S.-originated bookings provided that the airline agrees to distribute all publicly available fares through Galileo for a three-year term. This includes all fares the airline sells through any other GDS, third-party Web sites and through their own Web site and reservation offices.
The expanded airline content will be made available to all Galileo U.S. point-of-sale travel agencies without any “opt-in” elements as was required under Momentum, which went into effect March 1, 2003. Galileo travel agencies will retain the option to receive premium-level benefits designed to increase sales volume and provide additional revenue streams. These benefits were part of Business Builder Select, which were provided exclusively to Momentum-participating agencies. Going forward, all U.S. travel agencies will have the option of subscribing to these benefits for a nominal fee while participating. Momentum travel agencies will be “grand-fathered” and retain these premium-level options for the duration of their contract.
“At Galileo we pride ourselves on working in partnership with our airline and agency customers, and we believe Preferred Fares Select delivers the best of both worlds as it addresses the significant and immediate challenges faced by our partners, providing airlines with market competitive distribution savings while delivering our travel agencies access to more robust airline content with added revenue opportunities,” said Ken Esterow, executive vice president of airline services for Cendant`s Travel Distribution Services Division.
Galileo is currently working with its airline partners and travel agencies to transition to Preferred Fares Select, which will become the primary program offered through Galileo. Preferred Fares Select is currently available to airlines and travel agencies for U.S.-originated bookings, however Galileo continues to explore delivering the program to other international regions.
Meanwhile, in October last year, Sabre Travel Network
announced a similar scheme to Momentum, intended to simultaneously reduce GDS fees for airlines, and obtain the full range of airline webfares for travel agencies. Sabre’s ‘DCA Three Year Option’ involved a straight deal between it and the airlines - there was no financial commitment required by Sabre Connected agencies.
A Sabre spokesman commented “Galileo’s `new-look` initiative now appears to mirror Sabre Travel Network`s DCA Three Year Option - except that the Galileo initiative applies only to US-originated bookings whereas Sabre`s DCA Three Year Option also covers bookings that originate in Europe”.
Earlier this week, Sabre Travel Network announced that three major US carriers have signed up to its DCA Three Year Option.
Related stories on ITN:
(20/06/2003) Galileo Expands Momentum with Aloha Airlines
(22/04/2003) Continental Airlines Joins Momentum Program
(07/06/2003) Galileo Increases Momentum