Sabre has revealed that it will introduce an opt-in program for agencies Aug. 1 that guarantees access to full content from participating airlines and precludes those carriers from charging agencies surcharges or service fees for GDS bookings.

The announcement confirms industry speculation that many of the so-called full-content agreements announced by major GDSs are somewhat less than that. In Sabre’s case, its airline agreements provide full content for agencies that choose to make certain concessions to access that inventory.

Chris Kroeger, senior vice president, North America, of the Sabre Travel Network, said Sabre will have one-on-one discussions with its agency partners about the financial terms of their participating in the program, the Efficient Access Solution (EAS), and that the economics will vary by agency contract type.

Kroeger said participating airlines will pay discounted booking fees to Sabre, and that incentives from Sabre will not fall to zero. He added that the program has enabled Sabre to “preserve an incentive stream for agencies” while addressing the growth in incentives.

The airlines that have agreed to participate in the program are AirTran, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways, officials said. All of these airlines have long-term agreements with Sabre.

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