Last Updated: 06 Oct, 2020

How to Choose a GDS: Amadeus vs Sabre vs Travelport

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Global Distribution Systems (GDS) is power the global travel industry. Travel Agents access to a rich source of content and they also help agencies drive revenue by delivering a personalized service to customers. A GDS system allows the process of automated transaction between third-parties and booking agents, which in turn aims to provide end-user travel related services. Global distribution system connects services, rates and products and services that could be booked across all three travel industry sectors. GDSs will remain an important part of the travel industry.

Traveling is a universal field where billions of agents and customers come in contact through e-commerce and interchange services. Travel Management Corporations (TMC) are typically entrusted the exertion of corporate transport management. These companies use the Global Distribution System (GDS) which is existing in the travel industry since the early days of computerized reservations systems (CRS).

What is GDS




Global distribution system (GDS) is a computerized reservation system for reserving airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars, and other travel-related items. Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, Apollo and Galileo are all global distribution systems. Global Distribution System connects multiple numbers of providers to a shared platform for bookings (flight, hotel, packages, and cars) worldwide. As a leading travel technology company, we work on GDS integration and GDS systems to provide comprehensive flight booking systems to our clients.

GDS network is a large network which offers valuable marketing exposure to the travel websites and to travel agencies/agents. It accumulates inventories, schedules, and fares from suppliers and gives agents and OTAs an opportunity to search and book them: using connectivity APIs for OTAs and via a manual terminal for agents. The concept of a GDS System introduced due to the necessity to distribute flight tickets.

Travelopro offers complete GDS integration and online travel agency solutions for various business models like B2B, B2C, etc. Travelopro delivering the best in class GDS development and integration services to help you meet your business needs. GDS has real-time links to multiple service providers allowing agencies to operate with up-to-date inventory information. 

GDS is a rather costly selling channel that mainly allows the sale of rooms in larger quantities to bigger companies (for corporate guests) or travel agencies (leisure travelers). Global distribution systems are widely responsible for the development of the travel industry and the stepping stone of most internet-based travel services. GDS is highly effective for attracting international travelers.

How to connect Global Distribution System, for you Travel Business


GDS System allows travel companies to provide an end number of attractive travel solutions and relevant data to their customers, at affordable prices. The travel technology company deals in GDS integration in the booking engine system or travel portal of the company. GDS nowadays are planning to acquire the backend of the airline industry and have been trying to acquire stock of the cheapest supplier. Online travel services such as hotel reservations and other travel bookings are becoming increasingly popular in developed and developing countries.

Today, the GDS and IDS serve as virtual marketplaces where travel inventory sellers such as hotels, airlines, and car rental systems can showcase their wares to a global Internet travel audience. Online marketing can use the GDS and IDS to achieve this goal easily and effectively.

How Global Distribution System Work:

The future of GDS is very huge, and it will continue to be a robust platform for the travel industry. Today the GDS powers OTAs, including traditional travel agency platforms. Travel agents use third-party travel APIs or GDS integration for online reservations. GDS has proved to be a reliable segment in the travel industry for speed, security, and accuracy. There is no alternative for GDS as of now, even if it tries to keep pace with the ever-changing demands of the airline industry it can-not achieves it. We've seen the success of OTA models move from a merchant to model agency. 

By using the system, reservation options with flights, hotels, car services can be accessed in real-time and can be coordinated into one itinerary. GDS System is built separately with a different collection of interfaces, data segmentation, pricing rates, and specifications to sign up.

The most vital element when providing end-to-end B2B & B2C GDS solutions is, to understand the travel agent’s needs and interests.

GDS integration is being used for the smooth functioning of the GDS system. It’s about enabling easy access to the travel distribution system. Also, important to note is that when GDS XML Web Services is specifically integrated directly into your website, the identity and design of the website are not changed.

How Global Distribution Systems Provide Access to Travel

Tourism and Travel industry development is a constant process following the rapid change in the market demands and trends versus approaches and modern techniques. Global distribution systems (GDS) were originally set up for use by the airlines but were later extended to travel agents. Today, the GDS systems allow users to purchase tickets from multiple different providers or airlines.

The role of global distribution systems is the growth of online travel websites that offer price comparisons and the increased push from airlines and other travel service providers to encourage consumers to make bookings directly via their websites. GDS has provided an invaluable service to the airline because of its security, reliability, speed, and accuracy. Global distribution systems are also the back end of most Internet-based travel services.

How to integrate GDSs with your travel website?

Integrating Global Distribution System (GDS) is your initial step to let your Hotel, agency to get listed among hundreds of travel agents around the world. The connection with your internal system and the GDS system allows a huge amount of data to be stored, classified, mining, managed, automatically. Saving time and cost than making the process simpler and smarter.

Integrating a software provider tap into the GDS, give your business access to travel agents deals and operations including:

  • Available Rooms
  • Commission standards
  • Payments and Transactions

Increase Your Revenue with GDS Integration

Travelopro experience in the integrating GDS system, delivers best in class travel software to book from online booking engine with more than 100,000 flights, hotels, cars, bus inventory worldwide. GDS system is mainly integrated by OTA with IATA licence to make end user purchase travel tickets from different airlines or LCCs. 

As integrating only, a flight booking system does not fetch a travel agent much profit so major GDS systems have partnered with different travel suppliers to get the contents of various travel services like hotels, bus, car, transfers to bundle with flights and other travel packages in a wholesale rate. Customers looking for a one-stop solution for all their travel bookings will certainly come back to a travel agency website to avail best services. The GDS system enables the user to get access to airlines across the world. IATA license rules vary from country to country and it also involves certain LCCs (Low-Cost-Carriers).

Inventory- Faster, Safer and Real-Time Inventory Distribution




Global Distribution System collaborates with the operators and integrators regarding the services provided by operators and the offers and distribution of the services done by distribution partners like OTAs. Global Distribution System helps sell your inventory on our online travel partner portals.

Travelopro is a solution for inventory management and distribution. It allows travel professionals to create their own offerings – packages, tours, accommodation, transfers, etc. A Global Distribution System network puts details of a hotel, rates and inventory in front of thousands of travel agents around the world. 

Travelopro connects your property to all major third-party online distribution channels and ensures that your hotel inventory is everywhere it needs to be.

Amadeus GDS System: 

Amadeus GDS is one of the most preferred GDS systems today. Travelopro pre-integrated with Amadeus GDS System which allows accessing the inventory for flights, hotels, car rentals, holiday, transfer and sightseeing through web services. Amadeus GDS is a member of IATA, OTA and SITA. Amadeus is IATA airline designation code is 1A. Travelopro integrates Amadeus GDS system to deliver sophisticated travel software solutions to the global travel companies.

Hotels: Amadeus connects with 421,000+ unique hotel properties, and brings independent and small-chain hotels to the multi-GDS and online travel community.

Flights: Amadeus flight booking gives the technology which maintains the travel industry going. Accessing real-time and updated information about flight status, actual prices and make reservations instantly – and reduce your overheads in the process too.

Car rentals: Agents can add Amadeus cars to their existing online travel booking portal and access huge choice of car rental content and allow their customers to book cars of their choice easily and quickly.

Cruises. Amadeus Cruise Web Services provides extensive cruise booking availability with transfers, special services, excursions, and more. Apart from regular booking, it supports modifications and cancelation opportunities.

Insurance: Amadeus Insurance is the ultimate cross-sell ancillary service. With access to thousands of agencies and hundreds of airlines using Amadeus technology, we can bring your insurance product to a captive audience of travel bookers around the globe.

Sabre GDS System: 

Sabre global distribution system (GDS) is the world's largest electronic travel reservation system. Sabre GDS assists the travel management companies and travel agents with a wide range of solutions to serve their customers effectively. Sabre travel software helps in connecting 350,000 travel agents and corporate and leisure, online travel shoppers to 400 airlines, 116,000 hotels, 40 car rental brands, 16 cruise lines, and other travel suppliers operating globally. 

Sabre is a supplier of technology solutions to the global travel and tourism industry. Sabre provides a wide variety of technology solutions including data-driven business intelligence, web, delivery, and SaaS technologies that travel providers and travel customers (travel agents, travel services firms, and corporate travel departments) use to prepare, promote, deliver, service and run their businesses. Sabre GDS is the connection between customers and sellers of travel services.

Flights. Sabre offers extensive functionality for flight booking, including mileage count, seat maps, queue activity, and more.

Hotels. Sabre has limited hotel data availability that provides basic search, booking, cancelations, and access to loyalty program data.

Car rentals: Sabre offers a car API with inventory from over 40 rental companies. Cars reservation feature provides travel experts with the ability to put customers into rental cars around the globe quickly and efficiently.

Cruise:  Despite the smallest inventory of cruise providers, Sabre gives access to full cruise content, including interactive maps and cabin images.

Travelport GDS

Over 650,000 hotel properties connect through Travelport, i.e., Galileo and Worldspan, to travel agencies in over 180 countries, delivering branded content and targeted promotions to global travel buyers.

Travelport GDS is one of the ‘big three’ GDS systems, which are used by businesses in the travel industry, including hotels, to distribute inventories to travel agents. One of the major benefits of Travelport GDS is the ability for hotel owners and others within the travel industry to distribute their products to travel agencies all around the world.

Flights. Travelport gives access to booking direct flights, connected air and train routes, and also ancillary services, such as baggage, meals, and insurance.

Hotels: Through our platform, we enable our hotel partners to promote their properties and offers to over 220,000 travel agency terminals in over 180 countries. 

Car rentals. Travelport’s car rental functionality is standard: search, pricing, images, vehicle details, and cancelation.

Cruises: Travelport provides cruise booking opportunity only to travel agents who request direct booking via a web-based platform.

API Integration


API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate with each other. Travelopro Travel API directly connects you to all the data you need to build innovative sites or applications. APIs provides easy access to application data, functionality and business logic, as well as web services. APIs are essential tools that ensure streamlined operation and performance of applications and web systems.

Amadeus API

Amadeus APIs connect you to the rich travel data that powers the world’s top travel sites. Amadeus provides access to APIs solutions that unlock travel content and services, as well as to all resources developers that may need to take full advantage of those APIs. 

The Amadeus APIs we are providing to our tools and solutions give partners access to content, data and processes that accelerate experimentation and innovation at the forefront of travel. 

Benefits of Amadeus API Integration

Amadeus GDS allows a wide variety of features related to show multiple flights, hotels, car transfer data, price and booking services.

  • Can show extensive series of airline / car / hotel deals
  • Single point of access to the booking management system
  • Allow integration to airline / car / hotel travel web services
  • Complete control for inventory and booking management
  • Set your preferred airline, hotel deals for every inventory

Sabre API 

Sabre APIs, formerly known as Sabre Web Services, provide easier, faster and more flexible access to the Sabre system functionality and products. APIs are ideal for developers who want to build or update a customized booking application for their website or use Sabre content within another application. Travelopro provides Sabre API integration services along with other support services for your travel business.

Benefits of Sabre API Integration

  • Sabre allows a wide variety of features regarding showing multiple flights, hotels booking options.
  • Can show extensive series of air / car / hotel deals
  • Provides single point of access to the Sabre system
  • Allow integration to any web service functionality
  • Get complete customized backend for Bookings
  • Set your custom fare for every inventory

Travelport API 

Travelopro integrates Travelport API platform helping travel companies increase revenue, lower cost and efficiently reach leisure and corporate travellers globally. Travelport Universal API provides you with access to a number of Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs). Travelport Universal API is one SOAP/XML API with multiple services and transactions. It offers a range of content: air, hotel, car rental, and rail, making it easy to develop a desktop, web, or mobile end-to-end travel application.

NDC Support


NDC stands for the New Distribution Capability, which is essentially an XML standard created by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) to allow airline service providers to deliver rich content and ancillaries to their customers. NDC holds the promise of greater flexibility in distribution and more customer choice in the future. TMCs can leverage the advantages of NDC by integrating with content aggregators such as global distribution systems more easily.  We believe that simplifying the traveller experience by keeping all of a supplier’s content in a single channel is the quickest and best possible approach for our corporate customers and therefore is the primary objective.

New Distribution Capability?(NDC), created by IATA, is an XML-based data transmission standard that holds huge promise for the travel industry, and will enable travel companies – from airlines to travel sellers – to evolve travel distribution and merchandising.?

Amadeus: Amadeus is developing its NDC-X program, and has also reached level 3 as an NDC aggregator. This means that Amadeus API users can support an end-to-end ancillary booking flow with selected airlines.

SABRE: Sabre was recognized by IATA as a level 3 NDC IT provider in early 2018. The compliance level recognition means that the company is compatible with IATA’s NDC standards and is able to provide a full range of services.

Travelport: Travelport was the first of GDSs to obtain level 3 compliance as an NDC aggregator, which is a required status to provide NDC services. Travelport’s NDC product was presented in 2017 via a roadmap, and it was announced that the product will be initially designed for airline companies. But the product will be enhanced in 2019 to be integrated with OTAs.

For GDS aggregators, NDC adoption became a vital question. As it’s impossible for GDSs to integrate with each separate NDC channel, they decided to force the adoption of an XML standard for the industry. The process goes even further as all parties of a traditional distribution chain start adopting NDC

Low-cost Carriers Connectivity and GDS API Integrations




We have a long experience of integrating many Low-Cost Carriers (LCC) in India into the Flight Bookings Engine developed for various clients. Apart from India, we have also got a limited exposure to African and Middle-east based LCC through our partners.

It’s becoming more beneficial for GDS providers to share low-cost resources and partially because of the growing rivalry among distribution channels for low-cost carriers, currently, GDSs suggest some products adjusted for the low-cost model. We also have the thorough understanding of the web compliance required by the LCC or GDS APIs. 

Flexibility and diversity

NDC provides some advantages to corporate travel programs, but not without cost and not without some potential loss of buyer privacy and shopping transparency. But connecting directly with suppliers requires costly and time-consuming manual processing and, in most cases, creates additional costs. 

Multiple channels will co-exist

We believe that industry-wide NDC solutions are best delivered by the GDS companies, but some industry participants will continue to choose different distribution strategies. We’ll support our supplier and technology partners’ enhanced capability—when it meets market needs—while educating our customers on the changing landscape.

How are the GDSs implementing NDC


All three major GDS companies are level-3 certified and have fully committed to using the latest NDC XML-based standard to connect to partner airlines. They’re focused on delivering a full end-to-end NDC solution that addresses servicing a traveller throughout the trip. This capability will allow travellers to access content sourced from traditional distribution, non-GDS and NDC-enabled channels. They also ensure that full servicing, data storage, traveller tracking, data analytics and full program management remain available to our customers.

Affiliate with large OTAs

The affiliate is a business or individual that re-sells online Travel Agents content. Being dominant in the travel market, they can also provide distribution support to a smaller business, taking their own profit from it.

When it comes to Affiliate programs, Expedia is probably the biggest name out there today. The Expedia Affiliate Network or the EAN helps travellers find the best inventory of hotels, flights and vacation packages. As an affiliate partner you have access to the Affiliate Centre of Expedia and you can view the details of payments in the stats section of the Affiliate Centre. Expedia offers its affiliate program through the following third-party networks

The Affiliate Partner Program gives you the unique opportunity to connect your business to the world’s most recognized online accommodations booking platform. As a partner, you integrate our customer-facing products into your website and in return, earn a favourable commission for each booking made through it.

To Conclude


As part of the NDC Amadeus is working with airlines to deliver NDC content to travel sellers. This will allow travel sellers to book NDC content alongside other travel content, enabling greater personalization for travellers. 
All three GDS giants have announced that they are going to participate in NDC adoption as a part of airline distribution evolution.

With NDC solutions, airlines can further personalize their offers, build loyalty, and increase revenues, allowing airlines to sell more exciting content, and deliver full flight experiences.


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