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Sabre Launches Another Merchandising First

August 26, 2008

Sabre has introduced another merchandising first through its Air Merchandising Suite, allowing airlines to differentiate and sell premium airline seats at the time of the original booking, in all distribution channels: online, offline, direct, and travel agency. Sabre is the first global distribution system (GDS), and SabreSonic the first airline reservation hosting solution, to integrate these merchandising capabilities into the standard travel agency desktop, making it easier for Sabre Connected travel agents around the world to leverage this premium coach seat capability within their standard workflow.

Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines is the launch customer for Sabre’s new merchandising capability in conjunction with the addition of the airline’s Midwest Class, a choice of seating in the same coach cabin. Midwest Airlines is reconfiguring its fleet of Boeing 717s to include 40 two-by-two wide, leather Signature seats and 59 affordable leather Saver seats with generous legroom.

Travelers can pay a fee to reserve a Signature seat, subject to availability, at the time of booking travel, or any time prior to check-in, with a Sabre Connected travel agent. Travelers paying higher-value fares will be eligible for a Signature seat, if available, at no additional charge. Signature seats can also be purchased from the airline’s web site (www.midwestairlines.com), customer service, or from kiosks at the airport.

“Our new Midwest Class offering underscores how we listen to what our customers want and meet their needs in a way that’s strategically beneficial for Midwest Airlines,” said Randall K. Smith vice president of Sales and Distribution for Midwest. “Choice is a critical element in the marketing of all consumer products and services today, and we believe our customers will respond positively to this option.”

Sabre’s new merchandising capability is part of the Sabre Air Merchandising Suite, which is powered by SabreSonic Passenger Solutions. As a Sabre Airline Solutions-hosted carrier, Midwest uses several Sabre Airline Solutions system enhancements to enable the carrier to manage, distribute, offer, sell, settle, deliver, merchandise, report and reconcile these products.

This new merchandising capability was developed by a team from Sabre Airline Solutions, Sabre Travel Network, and Midwest Airlines. This new solution exemplifies the expansive capability Sabre has for airlines to address current marketplace conditions, made possible by Sabre’s ongoing and significant investments in its technology.

“Meeting the needs of our customers – both airlines and travel agencies – is our mandate, and Sabre has delivered comprehensive merchandising capabilities to help Midwest Airlines reach customers in all channels,” said Greg Webb, chief marketing officer for Sabre. “We continue to work with airlines around the world to help them differentiate and maximize revenue opportunities, while also providing travelers the ability to select the products and services they value. Travel agencies need the ability to support travelers shopping and booking for these new airline products, and it is critical that it is done in a fashion that supports their efficiency, working right in their traditional desktop and standard workflow. That was our objective, that is what we have enabled with this industry first.”

The Sabre Air Merchandising Suite specifically helps airlines address the need to change how they sell their products and services to meet their marketing and selling strategies through all channels of distribution. The capabilities of the Sabre Air Merchandising Suite include Sabre Branded Fares and Air Extras. Sabre Branded Fares allows airlines to market various fares and their attributes to travelers. Sabre Air Extras provides airlines the opportunity to offer travelers additional products and services from the time of booking through day of departure, such as Midwest Airlines’ Signature seating.

The new merchandising capability adds to the overall value that Sabre is providing Midwest. The airline recently renewed its reservations hosting service through the Sabre Airline Solutions’ SabreSonic suite, as well as a variety of other business solutions, including schedule planning, revenue accounting, resource management and flight operations.

“Sabre has been a real asset to Midwest Airlines and has played a pivotal role in helping us meet our operational needs,” said Smith.

About Sabre Airline Solutions

About Sabre Airline Solutions: The world’s leading provider of integrated solutions and services for airlines and airports, Sabre Airline Solutions helps companies generate more revenue by optimizing performance in 14 key areas of airline operations. More than 200 leading carriers and 100 airports use Sabre Airline Solutions to better market their schedules, sell their products, serve their customers and operate efficiently. Sabre Airline Solutions was founded in 1960. For more information on Sabre Airline Solutions, please visit www.sabreairlinesolutions.com

About Sabre Travel Network

Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, provides the most comprehensive end-to-end solutions for corporate and leisure travel. The Sabre GDS is the foundation for these solutions, providing a ready-built efficient marketplace that connects travel suppliers, including hundreds of airlines and thousands of hotels, with more than 50,000 travel agency locations. Currently, Sabre collectively handles over 70 percent of the BTN 100 bookings.

Key brands of Sabre Travel Network include GetThere, for corporate travel reservation technology; Jurni, a consortium of leisure travel agencies providing marketing and promotion services; Nexion, a host agency; SynXis, for hotel reservation management, distribution and technology services; and TRAMS, mid- and back-office solutions and marketing services for travel agencies. Sabre Travel Network also markets TripTailor, a travel wholesaler providing dynamic packaging for the travel agency marketplace.

Sabre Holdings connects people with the world’s greatest travel possibilities by retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at http://www.sabre-holdings.com.

About Midwest Airlines

Midwest Airlines features jet service throughout the United States, including Milwaukee’s most daily nonstop flights and best schedule to major destinations. Catering to business travelers and discerning leisure travelers, the airline earned its reputation as “The best care in the air” by providing passengers with impeccable service and onboard amenities at competitive fares. More information is available at http://www.midwestairlines.com.




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