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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Virgin move to Sabre

Preparations at Virgin's Brisbane head quarters are ramping up in preparation for Saturday's move from the old Navitaire system to the more common and reliable Sabre system.

This means that from the weekend onwards not only will Virgin Australia's booking & check-in systems be different but all Virgin Australia flights will move to the VA code away from the DJ code.  This will see flights  that previously operated by 4 separate divisions (Pacific Blue (NZ) DJ/PBN, Pacific Blue (Aus) DJ/PBH, Virgin Blue DJ/VOZ,  V Australia VA/VAU) finally unified under the one code, despite having been unified under the one name for sometime now.

As most Virgin frequent flyers will know the online Velocity members area (My Account) will be offline from 10.30pm tomorrow night (Wednesday 9-Jan-13) until Sunday 13-Jan-13 to enable the change, with members asked to complete any bookings or points redemption before Wednesday.

"Nor will it be possible to check in for flights via mobile phones or the internet this weekend. Passengers will also be unable to book flights via Virgin's website from Saturday until Sunday afternoon.
The airline has also warned passengers flying between next Monday and January 20 to turn up at airports at least an hour before a domestic flight and three hours before an international service because checking in might be slower than usual.
Virgin will increase staff at airports and call centres by 30 per cent this weekend to handle the complex switch in reservation systems. About 4000 Virgin staff have undergone training over the last year."
I hope this change works out well for Virgin as the outage they experience with Navitaire last year cost them dearly.  Sabre is a great system that is used by a large number of airlines world wide and seems to be stable and efficient.

Sabre also operates the virtuallythere.com website which give passengers booked on any flight or airline within the Sabre system the option to:
  • Check the status of any flight including delays, cancellations and gate info
  • Book ground transportation, travel extras and travel protection to complete your trip
  • Email your itinerary to friends, family and colleagues right from your mobile or PC
Check out more about the Virgin switch via Fairfax Media's Business Day reporter Matt O'Sullivan HERE
or check out Sabre from its corporate website HERE or virtually there HERE

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