Getting started in travel

New to the travel industry and trying to figure out if it’s right for you?

We're excited to introduce you to Sabre Dev Studio® and the Sabre® travel marketplace. Below you'll find answers to some frequently asked questions and a guide for things to consider as you’re getting started in the travel industry.

How do you make money in travel?

Travel agencies (offline and online) earn compensation through services fees paid by their travelers directly to them, through mark ups added to negotiated fares, and through commissions paid by suppliers for certain products or services. It is up to the supplier whether or not to pay a commission to your agency.

Meta search engines and other consumer apps that don’t process bookings can make money through distribution in the form of cost-per-acquisition (CPA), cost-per-click (CPC), or revenue share agreements with suppliers and travel agencies. They also make money through advertising.

Developers of solutions used by travel companies typically make money through licensing or transaction fees paid out by the travel agency or corporation using their application.

Check out our Sabre Glossary to learn more about common travel industry terms.

Where does Sabre fit in?

The Sabre ecosystem connects travel suppliers with travel buyers through leveraging our global marketplace and IT solutions.

Sabre Travel Network works in partnership with travel suppliers and travel buyers

Interested in using Sabre APIs in your application?

It all depends on the nature of your business. Here are some things to consider:


If your solution will purchase tickets/ make reservations, you'll be an Online Travel Agency (OTA)

  • If you’re selling tickets in the U.S., do you have ARC certification?
  • If you’re selling tickets outside the U.S., do you have IATA BSP certification?
  • If you’re based in the U.S., does your state require additional legal accreditations? For example, in California, you must register as a Seller of Travel before you begin business operations.
  • Will you have your own call center to support post booking needs (i.e. refunds, exchanges) or will you outsource the fulfillment and servicing of bookings?

If not, you'll be a Meta Search Engine or Non-Booking App

  • Have you established media or affiliate partnerships?
  • Have you developed your referral strategy? For example, a consumer shops on your app, but is then linked to an OTA to process payment and complete the booking.
  • Do you have a projected API volume forecast?


If you plan to sell your solution to Travel Agencies or Corporations:

  • Will the IP rights of your solution belong to your travel agency partner 100%?
    If so, you may access our APIs as their contractor as long as they are a Sabre Connected agency. Have the travel agency contact their existing Sabre Account Director or sign a subscriber agreement to become a Sabre Connected agency.
  • Do you plan to resell your solution to other travel agencies or corporations?
    If so, you may be a candidate for our Sabre Authorized Developer Program. Fill out a questionnaire to be contacted.
  • Do you plan to sell your solution as an app for travel agents to download and use within their point of sale? (i.e. Sabre Red Workspace)
    If so, you may be a candidate to be a Sabre Red App Provider. Fill out an application to be contacted.

If you plan to sell your solution to Travel Suppliers (Airlines, Hoteliers, Car renta Companies etc.):

Suppliers (airlines, hoteliers, car rental companies, etc.) typically initiate the relationship with Sabre in order to gain access to our APIs. They can later assign a Sabre Authorized Developer to work on a project on their behalf.

What about Sabre Airline Solutions® and Sabre Hospitality Solutions®?

  • Sabre Airline Solutions does not have an environment for 3rd parties to test in, so you must work directly with the airline in order to gain access to their partition. For more information about this process for a Sabre-hosted carrier, please submit a contact form.
  • Sabre Hospitality Solutions does not have an environment for 3rd parties to test in, but we hope to make various hotel APIs publicly available for testing in the future. For more information, please submit a contact form.

Sabre Partners

To give you an idea of the types of businesses we work with, a few of our partners are highlighted below:

Metas and OTAs:

Hopper - app that watches trips and recommends when to purchase via mobile push notifications

Upside - booking tool that rewards business travelers for purchasing money-saving travel packages

Hipmunk - meta search engine for flights, hotels & rentals, cars, and packages

Options Away – service that allows travelers to lock in airfare before buying a ticket

Sabre Authorized Developers:

INNFINITY Software Systems - provides a white label corporate booking tool for travel agencies or corporations that supports remote workforce management features

Zoom And Go - provides a travel agency desktop/point of sale hotel booking tool

Cornerstone Information Systems - provides travel agencies mid-office automation and data analytics

Sabre Red App Providers:

Voyenbus - provides travel agencies a point of sale Red App for scheduled bus service

Blue Ribbon Bags - provides travel agencies a point of sale Red App for insurance on checked baggage

Events 365 by Ticket Evolution - provides travel agencies a point of sale Red App for event tickets

Looking for a partner?

If you’re an agency or corporation exploring partnership options for other areas of your business such as:

  • Front End Development
  • Mid Office & Automation
  • Back Office
  • CRM & Profile Management

…check out Sabre Travel Network Solutions to learn about existing Sabre products or the Sabre Authorized Developer Directory for a full list of our global technology partners.

Seeking funding?

Try following Skift and Tnooz to keep up with the latest investments and news for startups in the travel industry like you.

Here are a few incubators and accelerators Sabre customers have worked with before:

Other great news sources for startups are TechCrunch and Springwise.

Next Steps

  1. Register for a Free Test Key on Sabre Dev Studio for all REST APIs. We also recommend that you take a peek at the sample code and documentation, and watch example demos of solutions made possible by our travel APIs.