SOUTHLAKE, Texas, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings (NYSE: TSG) company, today announced that British Airways has joined its Direct Connect Availability (DCA) Three-Year Option. This program commits the carrier to a three-year term at the highest level of participation in the Sabre global distribution system (GDS) in exchange for a reduced booking fee, fixed for three years. "This innovative program helps us significantly lower our distribution costs, while ensuring that Sabre Connected travel agents automatically have access to the full range of British Airways fares," said Dale Moss, director of sales worldwide at British Airways. "By making all our published fares available through the Sabre GDS we are making agents as competitive as any of our other sales and distribution channels." The move by British Airways, the first major European carrier to participate in the program, brings to 24 the number of airlines participating in the DCA Three-Year Option, including all of the 'Big Six' US carriers. When selling seats through the Sabre GDS, airlines select one of several levels of participation in the system. DCA is the highest level of Sabre GDS participation and provides airlines with the widest range of services to market and sell their products. The Three-Year Option was introduced for bookings made in the United States in October 2002, and was extended in April 2003, to include bookings made in Europe. Airlines signing the DCA Three-Year Option agree to provide all Sabre users with all their published fares. This includes published fares that the airlines sell through any third-party Web site or their own Web sites and reservation offices. Sabre Connected agents do not need to opt in for this access. In return, Sabre Travel Network reduces its booking fee and fixes this rate for three years. "The DCA Three-Year Option is a win-win-win for all parties," said John Stow, president of Sabre Travel Network. "British Airways significantly lowers its distribution costs, travel agencies are able to enhance their competitiveness and customer service, travelers gain wide access to key British Airways fares, including Web fares, through the channel of their choice and Sabre Travel Network gains a three year commitment from the airline. In addition, through this agreement, Sabre Connected agencies in the U.K. gain competitive advantage through automatic access to all fares with no imposed supplements." About the program - how it works: -- Participating airlines commit to the highest level of participation in the Sabre GDS (DCA level) for three years. -- Participating airlines provide all Sabre GDS users broad access to schedules, seat availability and published fares, including Web fares and other promotional fares, but excluding opaque fares and private discounts. -- Participating airlines furnish generally the same customer perks and amenities to passengers booked through the Sabre GDS as those afforded through other GDSs. -- Sabre Travel Network provides participating airlines with a reduction to their current applicable DCA booking fee. -- Sabre Travel Network fixes the DCA booking fee rate for three years. About Sabre Travel Network Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, provides access to the world's leading global distribution system (GDS) and products and services enabling agents at more than 56,000 agency locations worldwide to be travel experts. Originally developed in 1960, the Sabre GDS was the first system to connect the buyers and sellers of travel. Today the system includes more than 400 airlines, approximately 60,000 hotels, 53 car rental companies, nine cruise lines, 36 railroads and 232 tour operators. Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE: TSG) is a world leader in travel commerce, retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com Statements in this release which are not purely historical facts, including statements about traveler confidence in obtaining competitive airline rates from all Sabre distribution channels and airlines' acceptance of the new participation level, or other statements about anticipations, beliefs, expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies for the future, may be forward- looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to Sabre Holdings on the date this release was issued. Sabre Holdings undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Any forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or results described in the forward-looking statements, including risks or uncertainties related to: the computer reservation system rules proposed by the Department of Transportation; Sabre Holdings' revenues being highly dependent on the travel and transportation industries; airlines limiting their participation in travel marketing and distribution services; and structural changes within the travel industry, such as the financial instability or bankruptcy of many of the air carriers. Sabre Holdings may not succeed in addressing these and other risks. Further information regarding factors that could affect our financial and other results can be found in the risk factors section of our most recent filing on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Sabre Travel Network