Computerised Reservation Systems (CRSs - also known today as Global Distribution Systems - GDSs) act as technical intermediaries between the airlines and the travel agents. The CRSs provide their subscribers with instantaneous information about the availability of air transport services and the fares for such services. They permit travel agents, whether brick-and-mortar or on-line, to make immediate confirmed reservations on behalf of the consumer.
As these distribution channels might influence the consumer choice, a 1989 Regulation (No 2299/89), last amended in 2009, ensures that air services by all airlines are displayed in a non-discriminatory way on the travel agencies' computer screens.
Regulation 80/2009 entered into force on 29 March 2009. In comparison to the previous EU legislation on the same subject, technological (developments linked to the internet) and market developments (airlines' direct sales to consumers) allowed for a substantial simplification of the legislative framework by giving more flexibility to CRSs and air carriers to negotiate booking fees and fare content. Regulation 80/2009 nevertheless maintained safeguards that protect against potential competitive abuses by airlines owning or controlling a CRS (parent carriers). It also introduced enhanced rules for the protection of passenger/personal data.
The evaluation of the Regulation on the CRS Code of Conduct was announced in the EU Aviation Strategy in 2015. The evaluation was finalised in January 2020. It finds that due to market and technological changes – notably the almost complete divestiture of airlines in CRSs, increased internet penetration across the EU and the growth of alternative distribution channels – there are questions as to whether the objectives of the Regulation are still relevant whether it remains fit for purpose.
Policy and other related documents
Explanatory note with regard to the definition of a "parent carrier" in Regulation (EC) No 80/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Code of Conduct for computerised reservation systems and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 2299/89