The Galileo system was moved from Denver, Colorado, to the Worldspan datacenter in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 28, 2008, following the 2007 merger of Travelport and Worldspan (although they now share the same datacenter, they continue to be run as separate systems).
Galileo traces its roots back to 1971 when United Airlines created its first computerized central reservation system under the name Apollo. During the 1980s and early 1990s, a significant proportion of airline tickets were sold by travel agents. Flights by the airline owning the reservation system had preferential display on the computer screen. Due to the high market penetration of the Sabre and Apollo systems, owned by American Airlines and United Airlines, respectively, Worldspan and Galileo were created by other airline groups in an attempt to gain market share in the computer reservation system market and, by inference, the commercial airline market. Galileo was formed in 1987 by nine European carriers -- British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Alitalia, Swissair, Austrian Airlines, Olympic, Sabena, Air Portugal and Aer Lingus.
In response and to prevent possible government intervention, United Airlines spun off its Apollo reservation system, which was then controlled by Covia. Galileo International was born when Covia acquired Europe's Galileo and merged it with the Apollo system in 1992.
The Apollo reservation system was used by United Airlines until March 3, 2012, when it switched to SHARES, a system used by its former Continental Airlines subsidiary. Apollo is still used by Galileo International (now part of Travelport GDS) travel agency customers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
Galileo UK[clarification needed] was originally created from Travicom which was the world's first multi-access reservations system using the technology developed by Videcom. Travicom was a company launched by Videcom, British Airways, British Caledonian and CCL in 1976 which in 1988 became Galileo UK.
- Travel Agents now[when?] also book Amtrak Rail on the system and issue the tickets directly.
- Southwest Airlines has entered into a marketing agreement with Apollo/Galileo and travel agents are now able to book reservations on Southwest. These direct connects offer the possibility to sell ancillary services and to differentiate oneself from the competition.
- The development team at Travelport has developed an online search tool called ASK Travelport where registered users can go and find out the answers to their frequently asked questions and queries.
- United States Department of Transportation: Computer Reservations System (CRS)
- Salpukas, Agis (July 10, 1987). "United Air In Venture In Europe". The New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
- Two top airline reservations systems to be merged - Baltimore Sun. Articles.baltimoresun.com (1992-03-04). Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
- Dictionary of Travel and Tourism, Books.Google.com
- Travicom and Galileo User Group
- Leisure Marketing, Books.Google.com
- Flight Global, Flithglobal.com
- Strauss, Michael (2010): Value Creation in Travel Distribution, http://www.amazon.com/dp/0557612462
- Klein, S.; T. Langenohl (1994). "Coordination Mechanisms and Systems Architectures in Electronic Market Systems". "Proceedings". International conference on Information and communications technologies in tourism. Springer Verlag New York, Inc. pp. 262–270. ISBN 0-387-82543-6.