An agreement that went into effect Sept. 1 between major airlines and the global distribution systems (GDS) that sell their tickets will cost travel agencies more to handle those tickets. While some agencies plan to absorb the added cost, others expect to pass some of it along to customers.

Airlines involved in the new deal are the so-called "legacy" carriers -- including American, United, Delta, Northwest and Continental.

The "big four" GDS companies are Sabre Travel Network, Amadeus, Galileo and Worldspan.

Travel conglomerate Carlson Wagonlit Travel of Minneapolis, which just bought Denver-based travel manager Navigant International Inc., said in mid-August it will charge customers $2 more per airline ticket to offset the higher cost of the airlines' new agreement with GDS operators.

"The GDS companies took a haircut, the travel management companies took a haircut, the corporate traveler will pay a little more and the airlines will benefit," said Mike Cameron, president of Salt Lake City-based Travel Connections Inc. The Utah travel company's Denver branch is one of the metro area's largest travel agencies.

"As a TMC [travel management company], it sure seems like it would have been easier for the airlines to raise ticket prices $2 and save the distribution system from going through this pain," Cameron said.

Get the full story at the Denver Business Journal