As United Airlines continues to evolve its GDS strategy, a big change is coming for users.
United, in a message to its travel partners on Tuesday, said it will remove basic economy fares (domestic U.S. and short-haul Latin America) from its traditional GDS EDIFACT channels effective Sept. 5, 2023. Starting then, those basic economy fares will only be available through United’s website, its mobile app, and NDC-enabled channels.
According to United, “EDIFACT is not able to sell ancillaries, therefore it is not an appropriate channel with which to offer our Basic Economy content. “
In the letter, United said the move was part of a broader strategy that will guide the rest of its moves in the GDS space. One of three parts of that strategy zeroes in on the future of content in legacy GDS channels.
“Continued investment in modernizing buying options including expanding NDC and direct channels' capabilities to provide innovative solutions to our customers. This investment is future critical in that there are few avenues left to expand the capabilities of EDIFACT,” United’s message says.