Travel industry lawyer law Mark Pestronk in a Travel Weeklycolumn posted this week wrote, "I fear that Travelport will try to augment its revenue by attaching some sort of fee to the right to book Economy Comfort seats." That fear, according to Travelport, is unfounded.
Delta in June announced that travel agents connected to the Apollo, Galileo or Worldspan GDSs "later this year" will be able to book Economy Comfort.
"Travelport does not have any plans to charge travel agents for access to ancillaries or optional services," a spokeswoman commented this week.
Citing language in the standard contract between Travelport entities and agencies, Pestronk concluded that the global distribution system provider has the legal latitude to charge agents to book the premium-economy seating or other ancillaries "if it decides to do so."
Pestronk noted that "Travelport could even provide the new premium seat-booking content without charge for a few weeks or months, and it could then start charging for it once the service becomes a popular client benefit at your agency," according to his column. "There is no limit on what Travelport could charge."