Galileo Announces Reduction in Airline Fees

Galileo International, a leading global distribution services (GDS) company, today announced it will institute a new level of participation for airline customers, Preferred FaresSM, which will reduce airlines` distribution fees in exchange for providing Galileo access to all the carrier`s published airfares. This new option offers airlines an opportunity to reduce their fees by approximately 10 percent for a three-year term provided they commit to the highest level of participation in the Galileo GDS. http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020729/GALILEOLOGO2

US Airways has enrolled in Preferred Fares, and will distribute all published air fares and services, including US Airways` popular E-Saver Web fares, promotions, special services, and other inventory, through Galileo`s global distribution system. The additional fares and travel content will be made available to all Galileo U.S. point-of-sale travel agencies, both offline and online, including Cendant`s affiliated Web sites Cheap Tickets, Trip.com and Highwire, a corporate booking provider. US Airways will not require Galileo agents to pay a fee for these services.


“We applaud US Airways for taking a leading position to more broadly distribute its fares and other travel services through the GDS network, which is still the most cost-effective travel distribution channel. This option addresses airlines` interest in lowering costs and increasing volume, and our interest in restoring valuable inventory to travel agencies to provide consumers greater, unrestricted choice,” said Sam E. Galeotos, president and CEO of Galileo International and head of Cendant`s Travel Distribution Services Division. “Galileo`s Preferred Fares is part of Cendant`s broader strategy to remove costs from travel transactions, which we believe is the preferred solution to increase the efficiency and viability of all travel industry participants over the long term.”


“We are pleased that we can work cooperatively with Galileo to significantly expand the availability of our special `Web fares,` and at the same time control our distribution costs. Through this agreement, we are moving closer to our goal of reducing customer confusion and frustration in accessing discounted air fares,” said B. Ben Baldanza, US Airways senior vice president, marketing and planning. “We believe this agreement brings value to our traveling customers, travel agents, Galileo and US Airways.”


Galileo-connected travel agencies and travel management companies will have access to an expanded range of US Airways fares and services effective immediately. In addition to all published fares, Galileo travel agencies and their consumers will also gain access to any US Airways` special features and promotions the airline may provide to other GDSs or distribution outlets. These features could include such benefits as special fare promotions, priority waitlist option, special needs requests, advanced check in, and special consideration for waiving ticket restrictions.

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“World Travel Partners is pleased by Galileo`s move with other GDSs to more broadly distribute airlines` most attractive fares and services,” said Michael Buckman, president and CEO of World Travel Partners. “The real winners in this deal are travel consumers who gain equal access to all fares, regardless where they purchase travel. We are very encouraged by this action of US Airways and hope other airlines follow suit.”


Cendant and Galileo are currently in discussion with multiple airlines about the Preferred Fares option. As part of the program, a carrier must commit to a three-year agreement at the highest level of participation in the Galileo GDS, referred to as Inside Availability®, and agree to provide all published inventory to Galileo, excluding opaque (unbranded) fares.


In return for an airline`s broader access and high participation level, Galileo will reduce its fees for Inside Availability services by approximately 10 percent, which will result in an average savings of approximately $0.40 per segment booked at the Preferred Fares’ participation level.


Galileo International is a global technology leader. Its core business is providing electronic global distribution services for the travel industry through its computerized reservation systems, leading-edge products and innovative Internet-based solutions. Galileo is a value-added distributor of travel inventory dedicated to supporting its travel supplier, agency and corporate customers and, through them, expanding traveler choice. A subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD) and part of Cendant’s Travel Distribution Services Division, Galileo is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, USA, and has offices worldwide. Visit http://www.galileo.com.

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