GDS is a computerized network system used to access information about schedules, availability, fares, and other travel formalities, and to book airline seats, hotel rooms, and rental cars. These systems are global in nature and do not represent only one airline.
GDS owned or operated by a company that enables transactions between travel industry service providers, mainly airlines, hotels, car rental companies, and travel agencies.
Travel Agencies traditionally relied on GDS for services, products & rates in order to provision travel-related services to the end consumers. Thus, a (GDS) can link services, rates and bookings consolidating products and services across all these travel sectors: i.e.
GDS is different from a computer reservations system CRS, which is a reservation system used by the service providers (also known as vendors). Primary customers of GDS are travel agents (both online and office-based) to make reservation on various reservation systems run by the vendors. GDS holds no inventory; the inventory is hold on the vendor’s reservation system itself. A GDS system will have real-time link to the vendor’s database. For example, when a travel agency requests a reservation on the service of a particular airline company, the GDS system routes the request to the appropriate airline’s computer reservations system.
Today, the major GDS companies are Amadeus by Amadeus IT Group, Sabre by Sabre Travel NetWork, and Galileo by TravelPort.