To ensure Northwest Airlines’ new ticket fees are fully disclosed to Galileo-connected agencies and consumers, Galileo International
is including Northwest’s ticket fees in its faring and shopping displays so that travel agents can view the “total cost” of the Northwest fare.ÊThis action follows Northwest’s announcement made on August 24, 2004, that for tickets sold on or after September 1, 2004 it would “share” part of its global distribution system expense with U.S. and Canada-based travel agencies. Such “sharing” is a hidden direct fare increase of US$3.75 one-way, US$7.50 roundtrip per-ticket on Northwest tickets.
“With this change, Galileo agencies will now have more complete and appropriate visibility toward the total cost of selling Northwest tickets,” said Ken Esterow, executive vice president, supplier services, Cendant Travel Distribution Services. “The carrier’s decision to impose new ticketing fees on all domestic tickets issued using a GDS Êviolates the spirit and letter of its agreements with Galileo. Following Northwest’s action, we had no choice but to respond in support of our travel agency and airline partners honoring their commitments to Galileo.”
As a result of Northwest’s actions against Galileo, Northwest will not be afforded the same benefits provided to participating carriers that honor their commitments under their agreements. Northwest will be repositioned in the flight display in the Galileo system. In addition, the new fee will be added to certain fare shopping tools available to agencies. Any participating carrier that violates its 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, will be subject to similar actions.
“Northwest’s actions hurt both the travel agency community as well as the consumers who choose to buy their air travel through a travel agency,” said Mitch Gross, executive vice president and general manager for Travel Agency Services, The Americas.Ê “We are taking these actions in response to the overwhelming demand from our travel agent customers.Ê Many have already moved a significant number of bookings away from Northwest to other more agent-friendly carriers. Northwest’s strategy to penalize travel agent bookings is clearly backfiring.”