Sabre believes its new airline content program for agencies exacts appropriate concessions from all parties, and if the plan sticks and becomes the norm, the future of airline-GDS-agency economics could hang in the balance.

Sabre Travel Network revealed last week that on Aug. 1 it would introduce an optional program, the Efficient Access Solution (EAS), that trims agency incentives in exchange for full content from participating airlines and immunity from those carriers leveling agency service fees.

In exchange for undisclosed discounts on the booking fees that Sabre charges the airlines, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, US Airways and AirTran have agreed to enroll in the program as part of their bilateral, long-term participation deals.

It is believed that American and Sabre are close to a deal as well, with the major economic issues already ironed out.

Although their Sabre contracts brought them into the program, it appeared that several participating airlines might not have been privy to the fine print of the EAS program. United, Northwest and AirTran said last week they were studying the details.

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