And the winner is...

Since the merger between Continental and United there has been rampant speculation as to which reservation system will survive.  United currently uses a system called Apollo which is hosted by Amadeus.   Meanwhile Continental uses an in-house system called Shares. 

In this article from Travel Weekly is reporting that United has terminated its agreement with Amadeus to move to the new Altea platform and has decided to standardize on Shares. 

As with anything, there are pluses and minuses to the decision.  Some of the advantages are:

  • Reduced Cost structure as the IT platform is owned in-house and not leased
  • The ability be more nimble with features and functionality, this is one of the key reasons Continental's site is so advanced from a feature perspective.

The biggest disadvantage is the ticketing process.  One of United's best features is there ability to reticket reservations and the flexibility they've been for irregular operations.  This is an area where Continental has been historically weak, though they have been working on improving that. 

Comments

From Jeff Smisek's comments during presentations & discussions, the move to SHARES is apparently the best short-term solution to bring United over from Apollo, but they recognize SHARES is lacking in so many ways. I'd expect a new platform to be announced for 2013/14.

I geek out with GDS stuff, as I worked intimately on them during my tenure at United, and other travel companies. I'm following these types of stories like a hawk!

#2
Carl May 12, 2011 at 12:42 pm

The decision to move to Shares was announced back in December.

What was announced is the settlement of a contract dispute with Amadeus. United had contracted with Amadeus about 5 years ago, though it was never implemented, and Amadeus demanded a payment to terminate the contract.

#3
Fozz M May 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Actually, the decision in December wasn't a final decision and a number of folks within United were fighting the decision. Some of the folks who were lobbying for Amadeus are no longer at United since the initial announcement.

With a settlement finally announced with Amadeus, this would be the first action that has demonstrated the decision.