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The evolution of GDS ( Global Distribution System)


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How travel was managed back in 1950

Published in: Travel, Technology, Business
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The evolution of GDS ( Global Distribution System)

  1. 1. in 1950 Once upon a *me, in 1950 Photo source: h,p:// TTS
  2. 2. When the internet was s*ll far away…
  3. 3. Travel agents used to book each flight by hand. Photo source: h,p://
  4. 4. Imagine the workload!
  5. 5. And they had no other op*on. Photo source: h,p://
  6. 6. Photo source: h,p:// Customers, too, had no other op*on, but the travel agencies.
  7. 7. Then, in 1953, IBM and American Airlines created a semi-­‐ automated system, c a l led C u s tomer Reserva=ons Systems. Photo source: h,p://
  8. 8. Amazing ! Photo source: h,p://
  9. 9. considering there was no
  10. 10. Result? Photo source: h,p:// Photo source: h,p://www-­‐
  11. 11. Result? All airlines got connected to this system.
  12. 12. Every day airlines would pay CRSs to be listed in their database. Photo source: h,p://
  13. 13. Travel agencies would get commissions from airlines, depending on the amount of flights booked.
  14. 14. And then the fares became biased to par*cular airlines.
  15. 15. In short, everything got complicated.
  16. 16. Because of that, in 1980, the Airlines decided to create their own systems.
  17. 17. And these systems were the Global Distribu*on Systems (GDS). =automated booking systems for individual airlines
  18. 18. What did this mean?
  19. 19. It meant that now the GDSs could calculate and get all offers for each airline. Photo @ Jack Mitchell
  20. 20. The distribu*on channels facilitated a great deal the online search process.
  21. 21. What has changed since then?
  22. 22. PreYy much.
  23. 23. Nowadays there are three major GDSs: Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport (Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan) "
  24. 24. Booking complex trips is no longer an issue.
  25. 25. With GDSs covering everything, from airline *ckets, to car rentals, to hotel rooms and more…
  26. 26. Mobility on the GDS is now also available. Applica*ons like Travelport Mobile Agent make it possible. Travelportmobileagent.,
  27. 27. As you may see, GDS remains a hero in this whole story.
  28. 28. That is, GDS remains the main distribu*on channel to connect airlines and travel agents around the world.