Exploring the Future of Travel Technology with Sabre's Corrie DeCamp

The Indian market presents substantial opportunities, with the air fleet expected to double by 2024, and Sabre is actively involved with Air India's expansion.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update


Rapid evolution characterizes today's travel landscape, where market dynamics and technological advancements drive industry shifts. Join us as we explore the future of travel technology with Corrie DeCamp, Senior VP of Sabre Travel Solutions, gaining insights into trends, transformative role of AI, Sabre's innovative strategies and their impact on the airline industry. With Corrie, we delve into the exciting advancements in travel technology and their implications for the industry's future. 


What excites you most about the advancements in travel technology today, and how do you see it shaping the industry's future?

Corrie: The travel industry is undergoing a significant transformation, particularly with the move towards offer-order management driven by IATA standards. This transformation aims to simplify and enhance the travel experience, making it more frictionless for customers. We are leveraging generative AI to optimize solutions for our customers, employing cloud-based solutions, biometrics at airports, and fintech innovations in payments. Our objective is to help airlines become better retailers, offering personalized services and smarter decision-making through AI and machine learning. Moving to the cloud has also provided cost efficiencies and improved response times and security. We're excited about the possibilities Gen AI offers in enhancing customer experiences and operational efficiency.

What challenges are your clients facing while adopting AI or Gen AI technologies, and how are you addressing these to drive value for them?


Corrie:  Adopting AI technologies presents several challenges. Firstly, change management related to employee skill sets is significant as leveraging AI requires new competencies that many airline development teams do not yet possess.

Secondly, integrating AI capabilities with existing technologies can be complex and not well understood. Lastly, creating a holistic AI strategy is challenging due to the numerous opportunities available and the need to prioritize effectively. Additionally, there is often skepticism about AI's outputs, requiring us to demonstrate and validate the AI's decision-making processes. 

We adopt a test-and-learn approach, starting with single use cases to build trust and refine solutions. We also support customers who develop their own AI models, integrating these within our solutions to achieve their business goals.


How seamless is the adoption of these technologies, and what is the typical timeline? Do you support clients at every step, or do you train their staff?

Corrie: The timeline and seamlessness of adopting AI technologies vary by solution. Generally, we partner with airlines to ensure they are comfortable with our AI models and outcomes. Our Travel AI platform allows for rapid prototyping, model training, and deployment, often within three to four months. For airlines using their own models, the process might take longer due to the need for refinement and testing. We work closely with clients to deploy these solutions, providing support and adjustments as needed.

Can you name any of your partners or clients?


Corrie: One example is GOL Airlines in South America, which deployed our Ancillary IQ product. This solution optimizes the options presented to passengers, such as seat selection or baggage fees, resulting in an approximately 10% increase in ancillary revenue for GOL.

What opportunities do you see in the Indian market, and how are you positioning yourself to capitalize on them?

Corrie: India is a rapidly growing and dynamic market with increasing middle-class spending power and expanding air travel demand. Our team in India plays a critical role in our tech transformation and innovation. With significant aircraft orders from airlines like Air India and Indigo, and extensive airport development plans, the Indian market presents substantial opportunities.


We are actively working with Indian airlines to optimize their networks and distribute their content through travel agencies, meeting the needs of this burgeoning market.

Are there any recent developments in India you would like to highlight?

Corrie: We are consulting with Air India on optimizing their network planning as they prepare to receive hundreds of new aircraft. Additionally, we have an agreement to distribute Air India’s fares and offers to travel agencies worldwide, ensuring comprehensive content availability for domestic and international travelers.


How are airlines adopting modern retailing strategies to enhance revenue and loyalty in the digital age?

Corrie: Airlines are at varying stages of adopting modern retailing strategies. IATA has set a goal for airlines to move away from the Passenger Name Record (PNR) system by 2030, though timelines may extend. Some airlines are early adopters, leveraging Sabre's tools to create offers and orders, while others are more cautious.

Retailing strategies vary, with some airlines focusing on selling additional services and personalized experiences, while others prioritize core competencies in transportation. The shift to offer-order management will transform how airlines manage inventory, pricing, and customer interactions, ultimately enhancing revenue and loyalty.


Which areas within the airline industry do you see AI having the most transformational impact?

Corrie: AI is primarily transforming revenue optimization in the airline industry. Airlines have a long history of revenue management, and AI enhances this by enabling dynamic pricing and personalized offers. Solutions like Air Price IQ and Ancillary IQ use AI to optimize pricing and ancillary revenues, resulting in significant revenue uplifts. AI is also improving customer service through chatbots and internal processes within airlines. Overall, the focus remains on maximizing revenue from high-cost assets like airplanes.

How do Sabre’s AI-driven solutions, such as Sabre Air Price IQ, revolutionize the airline industry by enhancing traveler satisfaction and optimizing revenue management?

Corrie: Sabre’s AI-driven solutions optimize airline pricing and ancillary offers through dynamic and personalized approaches. For example, Air Price IQ enables airlines to adjust fares dynamically based on real-time data, customer behavior, and competitive pricing. Ancillary IQ makes smarter offers for additional services, tailored to individual traveler preferences. These tools improve traveler satisfaction by providing relevant and timely offers, while also maximizing airline revenues. The upcoming Bundle IQ will further enhance this by offering customized service bundles based on traveler behavior and preferences.

As more airlines adopt a cloud-first strategy, what are the key considerations from a technology and security standpoint? How can potential risks be mitigated?

Corrie: Moving to the cloud involves enhanced security, better performance, and increased resiliency. Sabre has partnered with Google, moving over 99% of our solutions to the cloud, with 90% on Google Cloud. This transition provides multiple benefits, including reduced latency and improved security. We also have extensive expertise in cloud computing, ensuring robust security measures and efficient cloud transformations for our customers. By leveraging the cloud, airlines can mitigate risks through improved disaster recovery capabilities and more secure data environments.

How do you see the transformation shaping the future of the airline industry? What is the future, in your opinion, and what would you like to add?

Corrie: The future of the airline industry is exciting and transformative, moving from traditional architectures to a retail-focused model. Airlines aim to emulate the success of retailers like Amazon by offering personalized and dynamic products and services. This shift involves significant changes in technology and operations, as airlines transition from legacy systems like PNRs and VCRs to more flexible and efficient offer-order systems. This transformation will enable airlines to provide better customer experiences and optimize revenue.

However, it will require careful management and adaptation, with each airline following a unique journey based on their market position and strategic goals. The next 20 years will see airlines becoming more sophisticated retailers, with some excelling in this new role while others may focus on their core competencies in transportation. Overall, it's an exciting time for the travel industry with immense potential for growth and innovation.