Recent talk about how new communications standards like NDC Resolution 787 and new tools like Concur's TripLink would disintermediate global distribution systems (GDSs) led to this hypothesis: that air travel shopping would migrate from being GDS-centric to being online travel agency (OTA)-centric. This Analysis looks at the components of the legacy airfare shopping process and the new technologies and user expectations that could potentially be the catalysts for reshaping airfare shopping.
In the early 1990s, air shopping and booking was pretty standard. Four GDSs provided the majority of global airfare shopping using communications and data transfer standards among suppliers, intermediaries and points of sale that had been developed by the United Nations (UN), Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO), SITA and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The world now includes metasearch, third-party search, large computer systems on commodity hardware, open source software, dominant OTAs, airline fee reductions and cloud services.
- How the Legacy System Works
- Indirect and Direct Distribution
- Possible Future Scenarios for Air Distribution