Continental Airlines Joins Momentum Program

today announced that Continental Airlines
, the nation`s fifth largest air carrier, has partnered with Galileo to take advantage of Momentum: an innovative, three-year program providing unique benefits to airlines and travel agencies, which choose to enroll. 

Continental joins United Airlines, US Airways, Rosenbluth International and more than 250 U.S. travel agency locations in Momentum, which went into effect March 1, 2003.  As a participating airline, Continental will receive an approximate 20 percent reduction in GDS fees for bookings processed through a participating Galileo-connected agency.  These prices are reduced from 2003 levels and locked in for three years and can easily equate to millions in annualized savings for Continental and other major airlines, while also increasing sales volume through the GDS, the airlines` highest-yielding channel. In exchange, Continental and other participating airlines agree to provide Galileo-enrolled agencies access to all publicly available fares, including Web fares. 

With the addition of Continental, more than 38 percent of Galileo`s U.S.-originated airline bookings are now included in Momentum. 

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Continental to Momentum and applaud their leadership in taking this important step to reduce costs and increase distribution,” said Robert Coggin, executive vice president of airline services for Galileo and Cendant`s Travel Distribution Services Division.  “At Cendant, we are working to revolutionize travel distribution by creating compelling and cost-effective programs to help increase the long-term viability of all industry players. Momentum is an important example of the progress that can be achieved when airlines, GDSs and travel agencies come to the table prepared to compromise for the sake of our industry`s health and future.” 

“We are pleased to join in Momentum as it represents an important first step in working to change the traditional distribution model,” said Jim Compton, senior vice president of marketing at Continental Airlines.  “The Momentum program demonstrates fresh thinking by all parties in the distribution chain to craft a solution that addresses the needs of everyone. In exchange for the cost savings offered by this program, Continental is pleased to provide Momentum subscribers and their customers with all publicly available fares, including Web fares. We look forward to working with Galileo to expand participation in this innovative program.”


Travel agencies are also primary beneficiaries of Momentum as enrolled agencies gain the competitive benefit of Web fares and other attractive airline inventory, including all publicly available fares distributed through the airlines` own Web site and reservations system, or any other competing GDS or Web site.  Travel agents also get the unique benefit of incremental sales and revenue opportunities in exchange for accepting a reduced level of financial incentives for the three-year term. 

To offset the reduced financial incentives, Galileo and Cendant have created a growing portfolio of revenue-generating benefits through Business Builders Select, a Momentum-exclusive premium level of Galileo`s successful Business Builders program.  As previously announced last month, U.S. agencies participating in Momentum are now eligible for cash bonus payouts from Galileo for any incremental rental car and hotel bookings processed through Galileo that exceed the participating agency`s 2002 booking baseline.  This bonus payout is valid for bookings with all rental car and hotel suppliers, not just Cendant-affiliated brands, and will be paid at the end of each calendar year. 

This cash bonus is in addition to the enhanced commissions travel agencies can generate as part of Business Builders Select, including: double commissions when booking RCI Holiday Network vacation and condo rentals; up to 5 percent more for incremental commissionable rentals from Avis and Budget; up to 5 percent more for incremental reservations at any of Cendant`s nine affiliated hotel brands; and 2 percent more for bookings processed through Galileo`s e-Agent.  Additionally, participating agents have access to Budget`s lowest-available “association” rates.


“We`re thrilled Continental has decided to join Momentum,” said Alex Wasilov
, president and COO, Rosenbluth International. “As the third major carrier to enroll, Continental has demonstrated its commitment to building a more sustainable distribution model, providing customers greater access to competitive fares. We`re excited about the value this partnership offers to the industry and, most importantly, our clients.  Momentum is a win for Rosenbluth, our customers, and Continental.” 

Currently, agencies representing more than 25 percent of Galileo`s U.S. originated bookings are enrolled in Momentum. These include Rosenbluth; Berkshire Wyomissing; Casto Travel; Conference & Travel Services; Mokihana Travel Service; Nittany Travel; Plaza Travel; Royal Travel & Tours, Inc.; Rubinsohn Travel; Seawind Tours and Travel, Inc.; Shangri-La Express; and Cendant`s affiliated travel agency operations.

While Momentum is currently available only to Galileo-connected U.S. travel agencies, the company continues to have productive dialogue with partners around the globe to provide similar services and programs.

Related stories on ITN:

(07/03/2003) Galileo Increases Momentum: Adds More Agencies and Unveils Incentives to Enroll

Related stories on ITN:

(21/02/2003) Momentum Gains Traction with New Travel Agencies

(22/01/2003) Galileo, Rosenbluth International, United Airlines and US Airways Join Forces to Deliver Momentum