A History of SABRE Airline Software A History of SABRE Airline Software A History of SABRE Airline Software
The trajectory of air travel changed after a chance meeting between the president of American Airlines, and an IBM salesman — on an American flight.

IBM, at the time, was working on a new communication system for the US Air Force. It involved a network of computers that sent and received information using teleprinters, similar to a group of fax machines.

IBM realized that instead of sending messages from radars to interceptor aircraft, they could use the same system to send messages from travel agents to airline ticketing offices. The system would automatically be able to notify agents of available seats, process their bookings, and even print their tickets — all without a human on the other end of the phone.

SABRE changed the game for American Airlines. It cut the average processing time for a booking down from 90 minutes to a few seconds, giving American a huge competitive advantage. Other airlines had no choice but to do the same, and IBM’s newfound expertise helped them set up their own computer reservation systems (CRS). Airline productivity soared.

Source: https://retool.com/blog/air-travel-software/