Air Transport World

The longest day.(airlines impose travel agent commission caps)(Editorial)

For the marketing managers at Delta Air Lines, the longest day may have been the 24 hr. between the afternoons of Feb. 9 and Feb. 10, during which time they waited to see whether they would be joined by other airlines in what one senior aerospace executive called "the single most courageous act by an airline in the last 10 years," the decision to cap travel agency commissions at $50.

Delta officials admit they do not know whether they could have maintained the commission cap absent similar action by other U.S. major airlines. Thankfully, that action was forthcoming. Responding to the realities of the marketplace, other U.S. carriers began supporting the cap on Friday afternoon and by the end of the day, the brave people in Atlanta knew it would stick.

The significance of this action cannot be understated. …

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