For more than 50 years, Sabre® has delivered technological innovations to the travel and tourism industry.
The first passenger reservations system offered by Sabre, installed in 1960, marked a dramatic leap forward for the airline industry, automating one of its key business areas. In the following years, Sabre Airline Solutions® pioneered technological advances in areas such as revenue management, pricing, flight scheduling, cargo, flight operations and crew scheduling. And not only did we help invent electronic commerce for the travel industry, we hold claim to progressive solutions that defined — and continue to modernize — the travel and transportation marketplace.
The history of the Sabre system began with a chance meeting …
C.R. Smith, president of American Airlines, and R. Blair Smith, a senior sales representative for IBM, met on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York in 1953. Their conversation about the travel industry sparked the idea for a data processing system that could create and manage airline seat reservations and instantly make that data available electronically to any agent at any location. Six years later, their ideas became reality.
American Airlines and IBM announced their plans to develop a Semi-Automated Business Research Environment, better known as Sabre. The revolutionary system was the first real-time business application, enabling American Airlines to replace the handwritten passenger reservations system of the 1950s with the automated reservations system for the future.
The first Sabre® system was installed on two IBM 7090 computers, located in a specially designed computer center in Briarcliff Manor, New York. N.Y. The state-of-the-art mainframe system processed 84,000 telephone calls per day. The initial research, development and installation investment in this system took 400 man-years of effort at a development cost of almost $40 million (USD).
The Sabre system is installed in a travel agency for the first time, triggering the wave of travel automation. By the end of the year, 130 locations had received the system. By 1978, the Sabre system could store 1 million fares.
Low-fare search capability, Bargain FinderSM pricing, is introduced in the Sabre system, automatically providing the lowest fare — a service unmatched in the industry.
The introduction of easySabre® allows consumers using personal computers to access the Sabre system via online services to access airline, hotel and car rental reservations.
Sabre becomes a division of AMR, the parent company of American Airlines.
Sabre Airline Solutions® releases the industry’s first revenue management system, increasing airline revenue by optimizing the fare at which each seat is sold. Sabre Airline Solutions also invents the virtual and continuous nesting concepts for revenue management.
Sabre launches in the United Kingdom, paving the way for global expansion.
Sabre Airline Solutions begins providing software, consulting and systems management solutions to airlines in areas such as revenue accounting, yield management and crew scheduling.
The Sabre system expands to store 36 million fares, which can be combined to create more than 1 billion fare options.
Sabre completes an IPO for 18 percent of its stock.
Travelocity.com launches on March 12, 1996
Sabre Airline Solutions completes the largest system migration in the airline industry's history when 200 US Airways systems are shut down and shifted to Sabre.
Sabre forms a joint venture with ABACUS International to establish the SabreSonic® passenger solution as the CRS market leader in Asia.
Travelocity announces it will merge with Preview Travel — the third largest online travel site at the time.
Sabre spins off from AMR.
Sabre acquires GetThere, an online corporate travel booking tool.
Sabre acquires the Sabre Pacific travel distribution business from TIAS, a travel distribution alliance between Qantas, Air New Zealand and Ansett Airlines. The purchase gives travel suppliers, travel agents and travelers in the South Pacific region greater access to Sabre technology.
Sabre Airline Solutions introduces technology to expedite the airline check-in process and reduce long lines at airports through the use of curbside check-in, roving agents and self-serve kiosks.
The Sabre air pricing application is migrated to a new platform taking airfare pricing, schedules and availability from a proprietary mainframe system to an open system.
Sabre makes Travelocity a wholly owned subsidiary.
Travelocity introduces Travelocity Business™ to serve corporate travel agencies and business travelers.
Travelocity introduces TotalTrip, which offers new packaging capabilities.
Travelocity acquires World Choice Travel, a hotel room consolidation and distribution business.
Sabre Travel Network launches MySabre™, a new web-based agent booking platform that provides agents and suppliers with new marketing opportunities at the point of sale.
Sabre acquires SynXis Corp., a provider of reservation management, distribution and technology services for hotels.
Sabre acquires IgoUgo.com, a travel community website, and launched the industry's first keyword-based travel search engine.
Sabre acquires lastminute.com, Europe’s leading online travel site.
Zuji, the leading online travel agency in Asia Pacific, becomes a wholly owned brand of Travelocity.
Sabre is acquired by Silver Lake and TPG, and becomes a private company.Sabre acquires E-site Marketing, which provides hotel marketing solutions.
Sabre acquires Zenon NDC Limited from Cyprus Airways, now Sabre Cyprus
Sabre acquires El Al’s share of Sabre Israel Travel Technologies from, now Sabre Israel
Sabre appoints Greg Webb as president of Sabre Travel Network.
Sabre appoints Tom Klein as President of Sabre.
Sabre Airline Solutions acquires Calidris, a revenue integrity and business intelligence solutions company.
Sabre launches Sabre Red Workspace a graphical agency platform to shop, book and pay for travel
Sabre Hospitality Solutions launches online reputation and social media monitoring solutions for hotels to manage and aggregate online guest feedback.
Sabre acquires flight planning company f:wz, a leading provider of flight planning solutions.
Sabre acquires SoftHotel, the largest provider of web-based property management solutions for the hospitality industry.
Sabre appoints Hugh Jones as president of Sabre Airline Solutions; Sabre appoints Carl Sparks as CEO and president of Travelocity
Sabre establishes a joint venture with Emirates’ travel distribution division, EmQuest, to serve the UAE and five African countries
Sabre launches industry’s first eco-certified hotel program
TripCase becomes world’s first consumer trip management mobile app to fully integrate with Sabre GDS and agency workflow
Sabre Hospitality Solutions is the first CRS to go live with room key, an online hotel search engine owned by six of the world’s leading hotel companies
Sabre Airline Solutions acquires PRISM Group, the industry leader of airline corporate customer management solutions including advanced decision support capabilities
Sabre Travel Network launches the Sabre® Red™ App Centre, the world’s first B2B travel app marketplace for agencies
Sabre Travel Network launches Custom Offers for travel suppliers to personalize offers to travelers
Sabre establishes “Passport to Freedom” as part of its commitment to fight human trafficking Sabre appoints Rick Simonson as Chief Financial Officer
Sabre appoints Deborah Kerr to Chief Product and Technology Officer
Expedia, Inc. and Travelocity announce strategic marketing agreement.
Tom Klein succeeds Sam Gilliland as Sabre’s CEO and President
Sabre announces Larry Kellner as new Chairman of the Board.
Icons of Progress
Sabre among IBM’s 100 innovations that helped shape the last century — see why
Sabre Tech Facts
- Sabre’s technology processes over $100 billion of travel spend annually
- 1.1 trillion messages processed in 2013
- 14,000 open system servers and virtual machines
- 100,000 messages per second at peak times
- 410+ million XML transactions daily