September 01, 2004
The Business Travel Coalition on Monday requested a federal investigation of Northwest Airlines after the carrier announced on Aug. 24 that it would begin imposing a GDS fee on U.S. and Canada-based travel agencies eight days later. In a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Justice, BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell alleged that Northwest Airlines' "pre-announcement" amounted to an invitation for competing carriers to impose their own fare increases -- a practice BTC says is forbidden by the DOJ. "We believe the complaint is without merit," said a Northwest Airlines spokesperson. "Providing travel agents and corporate customers with some short notice in advance of implementation of the shared GDS fee was an appropriate thing to do. In fact, both travel agents and corporate customers have expressed disappointment that they weren't given more lead time."