Southwest Airlines business Vice President Dave Harve has announced that at the end of 2020, Southwest will cease the “basic booking request” model through which it has worked with Sabre for decades. The BBR model, a bare-bones content agreement through which agents using Sabre can see Southwest’s flight schedules but have limited capability for servicing bookings, has been in place since the 1990s as part of a “longstanding and healthy relationship with Sabre,” Harvey said. That model “served us well” but has been a growing source of “friction” for customers in terms of workflow and working with the legacy technology involved, he added.
In the meantime, Southwest has drastically altered its distribution strategy over the past year by signing agreements with both Travelport and Amadeus that provide content and full booking capabilities in their respective global distribution systems. Its content went live in Travelport’s Apollo and Worldspan GDS in early May and in Galileo earlier this month, and Harvey said content should be available in Amadeus by the end of the third quarter.