If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them – AA’s Theo Panagiotoulias Now With Sabre

theo panagiotouliasJust 12 months after going to war with a GDS – and retreating from the high ground – former American Airlines exec Theo Panagiotoulias has joined Sabre Airline Solutions’ as its new Vice President and General Manager for Asia Pacific. In case you didn’t know, Sabre is a GDS, although not the one Panagiotoulias picked a fight with early last year. That would be the Travelport GDS.

AA wanted to charge agents a US$11.75 per segment fee for bookings made through Travelport GDS, including Galileo.

But the move, which applied everywhere except the US and Japan, backfired when Travelport urged agents to recoup the “tax” from customers and AA ultimately backed down.

“Travelport’s actions created tremendous confusion in the market and hurt our travel agency partners, and our customers,” wrote Panagiotoulias, then AA managing director Asia Pacific, in a letter to the industry.

I wonder how he feels now about GDS charges?

I suspect he thinks they are great value.

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