Sabre Launches Another Merchandising First
Sabre Connected travel agencies can reserve and sell Midwest Airlines’ premium Signature seating at the time of booking
SOUTHLAKE, Texas.– Sabre has introduced another merchandising first through its Air Merchandising Suite, allowing airlines to differentiate and sell premium airline seats at the time of the original booking, in all distribution channels: online, offline, direct, and travel agency. Sabre is the first global distribution system (GDS), and SabreSonic the first airline reservation hosting solution, to integrate these merchandising capabilities into the standard travel agency desktop, making it easier for Sabre Connected travel agents around the world to leverage this premium coach seat capability within their standard workflow.
Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines is the launch customer for Sabre’s new merchandising capability in conjunction with the addition of the airline’s Midwest Class, a choice of seating in the same coach cabin. Midwest Airlines is reconfiguring its fleet of Boeing 717s to include 40 two-by-two wide, leather Signature seats and 59 affordable leather Saver seats with generous legroom.
Travelers can pay a fee to reserve a Signature seat, subject to availability, at the time of booking travel, or any time prior to check-in, with a Sabre Connected travel agent. Travelers paying higher-value fares will be eligible for a Signature seat, if available, at no additional charge. Signature seats can also be purchased from the airline’s web site (www.midwestairlines.com), customer service, or from kiosks at the airport.
“Our new Midwest Class offering underscores how we listen to what our customers want and meet their needs in a way that’s strategically beneficial for Midwest Airlines,” said Randall K. Smith vice president of Sales and Distribution for Midwest. “Choice is a critical element in the marketing of all consumer products and services today, and we believe our customers will respond positively to this option.”
Sabre’s new merchandising capability is part of the Sabre Air Merchandising Suite, which is powered by SabreSonic Passenger Solutions. As a Sabre Airline Solutions-hosted carrier, Midwest uses several Sabre Airline Solutions system enhancements to enable the carrier to manage, distribute, offer, sell, settle, deliver, merchandise, report and reconcile these products.
This new merchandising capability was developed by a team from Sabre Airline Solutions, Sabre Travel Network, and Midwest Airlines. This new solution exemplifies the expansive capability Sabre has for airlines to address current marketplace conditions, made possible by Sabre’s ongoing and significant investments in its technology.
“Meeting the needs of our customers – both airlines and travel agencies – is our mandate, and Sabre has delivered comprehensive merchandising capabilities to help Midwest Airlines reach customers in all channels,” said Greg Webb, chief marketing officer for Sabre. “We continue to work with airlines around the world to help them differentiate and maximize revenue opportunities, while also providing travelers the ability to select the products and services they value. Travel agencies need the ability to support travelers shopping and booking for these new airline products, and it is critical that it is done in a fashion that supports their efficiency, working right in their traditional desktop and standard workflow. That was our objective, that is what we have enabled with this industry first.”
The Sabre Air Merchandising Suite specifically helps airlines address the need to change how they sell their products and services to meet their marketing and selling strategies through all channels of distribution. The capabilities of the Sabre Air Merchandising Suite include Sabre Branded Fares and Air Extras. Sabre Branded Fares allows airlines to market various fares and their attributes to travelers. Sabre Air Extras provides airlines the opportunity to offer travelers additional products and services from the time of booking through day of departure, such as Midwest Airlines’ Signature seating.
The new merchandising capability adds to the overall value that Sabre is providing Midwest. The airline recently renewed its reservations hosting service through the Sabre Airline Solutions’ SabreSonic suite, as well as a variety of other business solutions, including schedule planning, revenue accounting, resource management and flight operations.
“Sabre has been a real asset to Midwest Airlines and has played a pivotal role in helping us meet our operational needs,” said Smith.
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