Executives at U.S. airlines this week expressed seemingly opposing sentiments regarding development of online portals for corporate client bookings. SkyTeam partners Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines on Monday announced a joint site powered by G2 SwitchWorks and Amadeus that officials said would provide published and negotiated fares, hotel and car rental inventory, and such travel management components as policy controls and reporting. Later that day, a top American Airlines executive told The Beat that his carrier has not seen much uptake of the CorporateAAccess portal.

Despite "a lot" of enrolled companies, "usage has been low" for the CorporateAAccess program, said AA senior vice president of global sales David Cush. "There is some interest there; it is not where it was a year ago."

That's because AA, like other major U.S. carriers, last year was embroiled in negotiations with global distribution systems regarding what fares would be provided to system users and how much AA would be charged for bookings. "Twelve to 18 months ago, we were very actively selling this to corporations as being the guarantee for access to full American Airlines content," Cush said. "Right now, GDS economics are sufficiently in line to where we have other battles to fight."

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