Sabre (computer system)

Sabre (acronym for Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment; IATA code 1S) is one of three ( Sabre, Travelport, Amadeus) major computer reservation systems (CRS ). About a terminal connected, leave the worldwide availability of flights, check hotel beds, train tickets and other services and perform transactions.


The idea for such a system in 1953 Cyrus Rowlett Smith, former CEO of American Airlines, on a transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to New York when he was sitting next to an employee of IBM, who was involved in the SAGE project against enemy bomber attacks on North America.

From the experience of the project and the demands of an electronic booking system U.S. state of New York was until 1960 in Briarcliff Manor in based on two IBM 7090 mainframes, the first computer-controlled project with a capacity of 84,000 telephone calls per day. By 1964, American Airlines had over a thousand participants connected via the telephone network in 60 U.S. cities. It was one of the largest private data processor in the world and became a kind of prototype for other airlines, which also switch their reservation systems.

The mainframes were replaced with a newer IBM System/360 in 1972 and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma under the earth. From 1976, the rival United Airlines joined with Apollo, emerged from the later Galileo, the first travel agencies in their system. That same year, followed Sabre. 1983 agencies were connected in Canada, three years later, with the UK the first country in Europe.

Some railway companies, such as Amtrak use the technique of Sabre. The operator of the Euro Tunnel, the Euro Star Group, presented to the system of Amadeus (CRS ).

At the Japanese market leader AXESS, a subsidiary of Japan Airlines, the American companies involved in 1995 with 25 percent and traded as passenger information. The reservation system FANTASIA, established by the Australian airline Qantas Airways in 1989, was connected. With Abacus, founded in May 1988 by Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines with 11,000 connected travel agencies, has another provider who is active mainly in the Pacific region, decided to cooperate with Sabre.

In May 1998, the U.S. Airways turned off their computers and relocated all their flight data into the computer to Oklahoma. In mid-November 2000, the data of the INFINI, a subsidiary of Abacus and All Nippon Airways with over 6000 affiliated travel agencies, successfully integrated into the mainframe. In Europe, the Italian Alitalia is one of the largest users of Sabre.

Way of working in the travel agency

To connect to the computer system, the user needed a secure line, for example, via a dedicated line with Nortel VPN box or an encrypted Internet connection. Each agency is assigned a four-digit alphanumeric Pseudo City Code (PCC ), which contains a pool of addresses for devices, such as computers or printers for ATB2 or e- tickets. About an emulator registered participants can use commands ( format) to request information, such as flight information, prices or the weather in the target area.

As an example, an availability query in the Java Terminal:

Flight details: Thai Airways

For each passenger a Passenger Name Record is created, which is stored in the system.

In Germany there is the Java application Merlin as a tourist reservation system to book an easy way to travel that does not require commands and special characters. It allows users to select using the mouse via a graphical interface various tour operators.


Today, more than 53,000 travel agencies, 400 airlines, thousands of hotel beds, even taxis and cruise ships on the reservation system are interconnected. Is owned by Sabre Holding. In addition to the European competitors Amadeus is the actual operator, the subsidiary Sabre Travel Network, one of the two largest suppliers in this market.