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Northwest Returns Fire

August 11, 2006 By: Mike Jaccarino Travel Agent

Northwest Airlines fired back at Amadeus on Friday, saying that the GDS provider has no one to blame but itself for the booking fees and restricted content that may be in store for its subscribers come Sept. 1. In a letter responding to Amadeus's legal action against the company, Northwest said, "Any adverse effects suffered by Amadeus subscribers... are entirely attributable to Amadeus." Northwest also highlighted the full-content agreements the airline reached with other GDS providers, like Sabre and Galileo, which have recently issued new products that would protect agents from per segment booking fees. Taking an aggressive stance, Northwest went on to issue a de facto call for action among Amadeus subscribers, saying that they should "make clear to Amadeus their preference to have available the option of participating in a Northwest Preferred Distribution Product." Amadeus announced this week that it wanted an arbitrator to address the $3.50 per segment booking fees that Northwest was threatening to assess its clients, saying that the action violated its contractual agreement with the airline. Moreover, Amadeus also is seeking a court injunction to prevent Northwest from assessing the fees until the matter is settled.

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