Galileo Enforces Level Playing Field Principle

27th Aug 2004

Galileo International, Inc., a
leading global distribution system (GDS) and subsidiary of Cendant Corp. ,
today responded to Northwest Airlines’ proposal, announced Tuesday, to
impose new ticketing fees on all domestic tickets issued through U.S. and
Canadian travel agencies using a GDS. Galileo announced that Northwest is in violation of its 2003 Preferred
Fares Select (PFS) agreement. PFS participating carriers are expected to
provide Galileo agencies with a “level playing field.” As a result of
Northwest’s violation of its PFS agreement, Northwest will not be afforded
the same benefits provided to participating carriers that honor their
commitments under their PFS agreements, such as:

—A more prominent display for Galileo agencies;—Access to Galileo low
fare shopping and flight information tools; and—Access to the full PFS
distribution discount.

These same benefits will be withheld from any PFS participating carrier
that violates their agreement by charging Galileo agencies a fee on
tickets issued through Galileo that is not also applied to tickets offered
on the airline’s own Web site.

“We have worked very hard to improve our position and overall relationship
with carriers and have taken the lead in addressing industry concerns
regarding distribution costs and content with innovative programs such as
Preferred Fares Select,” stated Ken Esterow, executive vice president,
supplier services, Cendant Travel Distribution Services. “We are
disappointed that Northwest has unilaterally taken this action after they
made a public commitment to ‘expand access to Northwest fares and content
where it is economically viable for Northwest to do so’ as stated when
they joined Preferred Fares Select just last year.”

“Northwest’s actions unfairly disadvantage travel agents and ultimately,
consumers,” stated Mitch Gross, executive vice president and general
manager for Travel Agency Services, The Americas. “Galileo agencies and
others recognize this action for what it is—essentially a fare increase
which will be passed on to consumers. These agencies have indicated they
will direct their business to those carriers that are supportive of the
GDS distribution channel.”



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