- The Washington Times - Friday, September 3, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS (UPI) — Northwest Airlines has pulled the plug on a controversial ticket-booking fee for travel agents, but held onto two new consumer charges.

Northwest announced on Aug. 24 fee changes designed to reduce its ticket-selling costs by $70 million a year. But travel agents and the computer reservation companies they use for bookings joined forces to kill one of those fees.

Northwest has been paying about $12.50 every time a travel agent books a Northwest ticket through a global distribution system (GDS). Last week, Northwest said it would require travel agencies to start paying $7.50 of that cost, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said.

For more than a week, Northwest withstood the pressure from travel agencies and GDS companies but gave in when American Airlines refused to follow Northwest’s lead.

However, American, the world’s largest carrier, matched Northwest’s two new consumer fees. Now, both carriers will charge consumers $5 to buy tickets through call centers and $10 to buy them at airport ticket counters.


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