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For all the changes sweeping through the online air market – from ancillary services and direct connects to Google Flights – airfare shopping and booking is in fact one of the most established, stable and structured shopping e-commerce systems in the world. Consumers
and travel agents shop for airfares on global technology infrastructure that was established by the airlines decades ago, and inherited by the global distribution systems (GDSs). This infrastructure is constituted in a complex
ecosystem of technologies and services to manage the full cycle – from publishing fares to settling payment, and myriad steps in between.
As part of PhoCusWright's continuing coverage of the dramatic changes in airfare distribution, this Spotlight provides an update on the key issues and entities shaping the sale of airline ancillaries. These include new industry advocate coalitions, the possibility of government intervention, varied travel agency and travel management company (TMC) responses, new GDS technology, the role and impact of online travel agencies
(OTAs) and key airline actors.
Table of Contents
What is at stake?
Traditional Intermediaries (GDSs)
Points of Sale
Technology Intermediaries (Switch Companies)
Industry Trade Groups
Fares and Payment Processors
Expense Aggregators and Reporters
The Contest for the Customer