Support Builds For Airline Marketing Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. å- (December 19, 2002) å- U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has become the latest member of Congress to call on the Department of Transportation to conclude its review of a proposed cooperative airline marketing agreement that could benefit the flying public.

The marketing agreement among Northwest Airlines (NASDAQ: NWAC), Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) and Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will connect the three carriers’ domestic and international networks and will include code sharing and frequent flyer program reciprocity. Ease of ticketing, check-in and luggage handling will make travel on two or more of the carriers a seamless experience.

“I understand that airlines have relied on cooperative marketing agreements to meet consumer demand for many years and that a similar proposal by United Airlines and US Airways was approved by your office on October 2, 2002,” wrote Sen. Conrad in a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. “I hope the Department of Transportation’s review is completed in a timely manner. I know that these airlines are eager to begin implementation.”

The Delta/Continental/Northwest marketing agreement is a response to the current challenges facing the aviation industry. The agreement will allow the three airlines to increase revenue while preserving competition. The agreement does not involve a merger or consolidation, and there will be no pooling or sharing of revenues. A participating carrier will only earn revenue from passengers flying on its own airplanes.

Other members of Congress who have written to the secretary in support of the agreement include Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).


Northwest Airlines is the world`s fourth largest airline with hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, Tokyo and Amsterdam, and approximately 1,500 daily departures. With its travel partners, Northwest serves nearly 750 cities in almost 120 countries on six continents. In 2002, consumers from throughout the world recognized Northwest’s efforts to make travel easier. A 2002 J.D. Power and Associates study ranked airports at Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul, home to Northwest’s two largest hubs, tied for second place among large domestic airports in overall customer satisfaction. Business travelers who subscribe to OAG print and electronic flight guides rated as the best airline Web site. Readers of TTG Asia and TTG China named Northwest “Best North American airline.”

For more information pertaining to Northwest, media inquiries can be directed to Northwest Media Relations at (612) 726-2331 or to Northwest’s Web site at