KARACHI – Etihad Airways will make its ‘Big Switch’ to new, state-of-the-art, passenger sales, website, and check-in systems next week, the most significant milestone in its $1 billion, ten-year, deal with Sabre Airline Solutions.

The Passenger Service System (PSS) transformation project is the most challenging IT and business-critical initiative that the Abu Dhabi-based airline has implemented in its history. It has involved intensive training for 6,700 Etihad Airways and third party staff.

The Big Switch will integrate Etihad Airways’ current PSS into one platform that will utilise cutting-edge software across its reservations, inventory, eCommerce, distribution and departure control activities. The new Sabre Airline Solutions PSS will offer significant enhancements to the customer experience especially in areas such as mobile and guest communications.

The Big Switch will start on 23 February, and is due for completion on 24 February. Therefore during 22 and 25 February Etihad Airways asks passengers to follow key guidelines to help ensure any disruption to their travel experience is kept to a minimum.

The key messages for customers travelling during that period are:

* Arrive at the airport four hours before the flight is due to depart

* Where possible check-in online from 24 hours before departure and print boarding pass beforehand and bring to the airport

* If unable to check-in online bring a copy of email confirmation and / or travel itinerary