Reduced airfares are great for consumers, but it's still unclear how much travelers are seeing in the lower fares that the Bureau of Labor Statistics' data suggest are out there.
Lufthansa is being pragmatic. The airline knows its differences with the global distribution systems will get sorted out, one way or another, over the long term. In the meantime it still needs travel agencies such as CheapOair to sell its tickets and ancillary services.
We sure are glad the the FCC gave the go-ahead for passengers to turn on their phones in-flight. No more having to fumble for credit cards with Apple Pay on JetBlue flights. Google Wallet, though, appears to be missing in action.
Like many travel startups, Routehappy labored to find its way. Now it is onto something with its Routehappy Hub, although there will be larger competitors trying to tackle the same problem. Still, tough problems like this create opportunities.
Sabre's Klein is correct that IATA won't be driving the implementation of the next wave of ancillary and personalized services from airlines. But the track record shows that Sabre won't likely be doing so, either.
GuestLogix gets to broaden its retailing reach and technology base through the acquisition of OpenJaw Technologies.
With global airlines slated to have a margin of around $6 per passenger in 2014, it is clear that ancillary revenue, whether it be bag fees or selling frequent flyer miles to partners, is making the difference.
The JetBlue of 2015, 2016 and beyond likely won't resemble the JetBlue that we have known, but the question becomes how far with the airline take the merchandising tack that it is definitely pursuing.
As airline integrations go, Southwest-AirTran has been relatively smooth. United-Continental is a nightmare in comparison.
In the past, whenever new distribution initiatives came to the fore, airlines, distribution systems and travel agencies would go to war over the details. With IATA's New Distribution Capability, a dialogue has emerged, although the devil will be in the details, and the Global Business Travel Association remains highly suspicious of the plan.