What it Means: JetBlue to Migrate to SABRE this Weekend

By | January 28, 2010
JetBlue Airways Deparing runway 11.
Image via Wikipedia

JetBlue is switching its reservations system from Navitaire to SABRE this weekend. As a matter of practicality, this will cause disruptions. If you are travelling Friday, Saturday or Sunday of this weekend(January 29-31), you may want to show up early.

All sales will be closed, except at the airport. No reservations can be made or changed for as much as 24 hours while they move over. Apparently, the two systems can’t be run at the same time, so data has to be moved and verified. The airline has been planning this transition for two years. In preparation for this, JetBlue pulled fifty flights out of its schedule for the weekend and made sure all flights are no more than 40-60% full. Seems a potentially good weekend to fly if you want extra room, but that is overcome by the potential for disruption.

That is how it will affect the public now…but why is JetBlue doing this? The revenue lost has to be offset by the benefits. The move will bring enhanced capabilities for outside sales of JetBlue products, such as through online consolidators, travel agents, etc.

Many airlines who have tried to abandon third-party sales of their tickets have returned to these relationships, because while there are costs to these relationships, there are also benefits through increased sales to, for example, lucrative business class clients. It means JetBlue will finally support standard eticketing, which means they’ll be able to, with a minimum of fuss not only interact with GDSes, but support interline eticketing with whichever carriers they contract with. For example, they could contract to allow half the international flag carriers at JFK to sell their tickets for onward international connections and make good money off of it.

Effective January 30, 2010 all travel agency bookings booked prior to that date must be serviced by JetBlue, even the original was booked by the travel agency, it was actually ticketed by JetBlue as a ‘ticketless transaction’ and the ticket will be migrated to a traditional JetBlue issued Electronic Ticket. JetBlue currently has an interline agreement with Aer Lingus, an Operating Codeshare with Lufthansa and a Marketing Codeshare with Cape Air. Under the new system, all of these will be E-ticketed by the appropriate carrier based on the agreement and the industry standard rules for Electronic Ticketing.

Intially, outside agencies will only be able to request general seating types(Aisle or Window). Interactive seating maps and seat assignments will be available at some point in the future. This is probably due to the initial inability to book seats that incur a premium charge. But most airlines are just starting to set up systems for fees to be paid by third-parties. Reservations systems were not originally set up for them.

So, in the end, more scalable, new options and more coming online in the future.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.