Rearden-SWA Mum On Fee Differential

After Rearden Commerce announced plans to provide clients access to Southwest Airlines fares and inventory, Rearden vice president of worldwide sales Tony D'Astolfo noted a "slightly" higher transaction fee than bookings on other carriers. Why? Neither company would say. [more]

"We don't really get into the details of the agreements we have with our distribution partners," said Southwest corporate sales and distribution director Rob Brown. When asked, yes or no, if bookings processed by distributors using the carrier's API incur any sort of fee, Brown said, "I can say that we are providing through the API our distribution partners with greater functionality and greater access, but in terms of the specifics that is not anything we can disclose."

Is the arrangement different for each distributor using the API [Southwest last year announced similar implementation with Concur]? "I can't get into that level of insight," Brown said.

Instead, he suggested we ask Rearden to explain why their fee for clients is higher for Southwest bookings. We did. A spokeswoman responded by saying, "Unfortunately we can't share any pricing details publicly."

In any case, there is an added cost, whether a per transaction fee charged by Southwest or maybe fees to cover work necessary to connect the API to the distributor. And in any case, it is interesting to note that American Airlines probably needs to woo users to its API instead of charging them.