Business Travel Jobs - Getting to Grips With CRS

When you are searching through the wealth of commercial and business travel jobs out there, you will more than likely come across the sentence 'working knowledge of CRS essential', or something to this effect. But to what is that acronym referring? It could be the Cambridge Reference Sequence or Cornered Rat Software, but within the travel industry it is much more likely to be referring to a 'computer reservations system'. If you are looking to apply for commercial or business travel jobs, then a working knowledge of the most popular CRS's is imperative.
What is it?
A CRS is a computerised system used by travel agents to conduct transactions and store information about travel. It began as a system purely for airlines, but soon became a useful tool for travel agents in both commercial and business travel jobs. The larger CRS's now encompass hotels and rental cars as well as air travel, and are known as Global Distribution Systems (GDS).
There are a variety of CRS's used across the travel industry. Here is a rundown on a few of the well-known ones.
This is one of the best-known computer reservation systems. It is owned by Travelport (a member of IATA, OTA and SITA) and in addition to being able to make airline reservations you can also use Galileo to book cruises, trains, car rentals and accommodation. Galileo provide such products as Targeted Availability Messaging, which gives travel agents the ability to make bookings directly from within a hotel's message bank, and hotels can deliver marketing messages directly to the agents.
This computer reservation system has also been owned by Travelport since 2006. It has excellent e-commerce capabilities for people in both commercial and business travel jobs, and offers the ability to store information and also book and make reservations for airline tickets, rental cars, accommodation and trains. Worldspan also offers major airlines IT services and product solutions. One such product is the Worldspan interactive maps, which was created to help agents with their bookings. Worldspan has ditched the usual textual booking system and use interactive maps displaying detailed and 'real time' property information, photos and availability. Agents can also book properties through this system and receive instant confirmations.
With its headquarters in Spain, Amadeus is a CRS enabling the sale of tickets for many different airlines. It can also be used to book train travel, car rental, cruises, ferries and accommodation. Originally, this particular CRS was created in 1987 as an alliance between Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines, and today it has one of the highest number of bookings running through its system worldwide. The system assists those in commercial and business travel jobs in all areas of international and domestic travel, including fare-searching, reservations, ticketing, itineraries, airline schedules and passenger check in and departure.
This CRS is part of the Sabre holdings group and is part of Sabre's Travel Network division. It hosts Alaska Airlines, Mesa Airlines, American Airlines, WestJet, Cape Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. Sabre have a range of travel products which enable those employed in both commercial and business travel jobs to be able to handle high-volume bookings quickly and easily. Some of these products can help agencies to connect customers to up-to-date travel information through the use of wireless and mobile technology.