Upselling Extra Legroom on Delta May Be Model for Distribution’s Future

Airline distribution is the largest business segment for Sabre, so new airline contract terms are a big deal for the travel technology company based in Southlake, Texas.

Sabre said Tuesday that a multi-year distribution contract with Delta Air Lines that it announced on Monday has terms Sabre believes will be a model for its contracts with other large carriers.

The Delta contract more explicitly links Sabre’s commission to the upselling of ancillaries, such as checked bags and more legroom.

“If we’re helping them sell higher yield tickets, we will actually get more revenue for that,” said Sean Menke, president and CEO.

The shift is an evolution. It moves toward aligning Sabre’s take to be more proportional to a traveler’s total transaction price. The formula has been re-weighted to reward Sabre whenever Delta sells higher-priced transactions that often include ancillaries, rather than by transaction or period.

“I would also say the same thing as it relates to the…

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