A leading airline has expressed concerns about the limitations of global distribution systems (GDS) for pre-selling special seats on its flights – and plans to upgrade its GDS booking links when new aircraft come into service this summer.
According to Business Travel News Magazine, Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines is looking to see increased GDS flexibility when bookings begin on its new Boeing 717 models. The firm claimed that GDS specialist Sabre was working with the airline to produce XML services that could enable up-sell for customers wishing to reserve Signature seats with special dimensions at the time of booking.
Midwest vice president of sales and distribution Randy Smith was reported as saying: "We’re not trying to install a business class or a first class—that, the GDSs can accommodate. We’re trying to tell customers they have a choice in where to sit, based on the fare paid or the choice to pay an additional fee to move up to a Signature seat."
Chief marketing officer Scott Dickson added that the new 717s coming in this would contain 40 Signature seats and 59 Saver seats, meaning that last-minute day of departure sales could no longer be relied on to book out such a large number of seats.