In addition to this clip my favourite bit of trivia: #Travel #GDS systems are an offspring of 1950’s Cold War technology….
In the 1950’s Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) was created by IBM for the US military in order to direct and control NORAD’s response to a Soviet air attack. SAGE consisted of a system of large computers and networking that coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it to produce a single unified image of the airspace over a wide area.
A high-ranking IBM salesman, Blair Smith, was flying on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles back to IBM in New York City in 1953. He found himself sitting next to American Airlines president C. R. Smith. Noting that they shared a family name, they began talking.
They realized that the basic idea of the SAGE system was suited to American Airlines’ booking needs. Teleprinters would be placed at American Airlines’ ticketing offices to send in requests and receive responses directly, without the need for anyone on the other end of the phone.
A formal arrangement was signed in 1957, the first system went online in 1960, and SABRE (Semi-automated Business Research Environment) was born.