Gds Participating Carrier Agreement

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The GDS Participating Carrier Agreement: What You Need to Know

As an airline, it`s crucial to have your flights and fares available on global distribution systems (GDS) to maximize your reach and revenue. However, to participate in these systems, you need to sign the GDS Participating Carrier Agreement (PCA). In this article, we will explain what this agreement is, what it covers, and what airlines should consider before signing it.

What is the GDS Participating Carrier Agreement?

The GDS Participating Carrier Agreement is a contract between an airline and a GDS provider such as Sabre, Amadeus, or Travelport. It outlines the terms and conditions under which the airline will make its flight schedules and prices available on the GDS. The agreement covers various aspects such as distribution fees, booking procedures, content display, and data privacy.

Why is the GDS Participating Carrier Agreement important?

For airlines, participating in GDSs is essential to reach a large audience of travel agents and corporate customers who rely on these systems to book flights. By signing the PCA, airlines can ensure their fares and schedules are displayed accurately and consistently across multiple GDSs to maximize their sales potential.

For GDS providers, the PCA serves as a way to regulate the relationship between airlines and their platforms, ensuring fair competition, standardization, and compliance with industry regulations. It also enables GDSs to generate revenue by charging airlines for distribution services, such as booking fees and segment fees.

What does the GDS Participating Carrier Agreement cover?

The GDS Participating Carrier Agreement covers a wide range of topics, including:

Distribution fees: This section outlines the fees airlines must pay to the GDS for distributing their content. These fees can include booking fees, ticketing fees, and segment fees.

Booking procedures: This section outlines the procedures airlines must follow when processing bookings from GDSs. It covers topics such as reservation codes, ticketing deadlines, and schedule changes.

Content display: This section outlines how airlines` flight schedules and fares will be displayed on the GDS. It includes rules regarding flight information display, fare rules, and booking classes.

Data privacy: This section outlines the privacy and security standards that airlines and GDSs must follow when handling customer data. It includes requirements for data protection, storage, and handling.

What should airlines consider before signing the GDS Participating Carrier Agreement?

Before signing the GDS Participating Carrier Agreement, airlines should consider several factors. Firstly, they should assess the fees and costs associated with the agreement, including distribution fees, booking fees, and any other fees that may apply. Secondly, they should evaluate the benefits of participating in the GDS, such as increased traffic, sales, and exposure. Finally, they should review the terms and conditions of the agreement carefully and negotiate any clauses that may be unfavorable.


The GDS Participating Carrier Agreement is an essential contract for airlines that want to distribute their flights and fares through GDSs. By signing this agreement, airlines can access a vast network of travel agents and corporate clients, increase their sales potential, and ensure their content is displayed accurately and consistently. However, airlines should carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of participating in GDSs and review the terms and conditions of the PCA before signing it.

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