GDS no longer the center of the airline world

American Airline's removal of many discount fares from GDSs caused a commotion in the travel industry that is only now beginning to die down

May 2, 2023

But analysts say that the hullabaloo over American is distracting from the bigger picture, which is that as more airlines begin leaning heavily on NDC-enabled distribution technology, flight shopping is becoming more difficult for travel advisors.

Key takeaways

  • With airlines increasingly pursuing their own approaches to NDC, the one-stop flight-shopping that GDS-dependent agencies have come to rely upon appears to be fading away;
  • The next few years will be especially complex, as airlines bring on NDC faster than technology companies and some travel agencies can adapt;
  • Large TMCs like American Express Global Business Travel, BCD Travel and CWT prefer to do business through the GDSs ensures they will continue to play the largest role in indirect air distribution.

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