After a several-year absence, Northwest retail and opaque fares are once again available through Priceline.com and its LowestFare.com unit.
Northwest and Priceline announced Oct. 3 that they entered into a new distribution agreement, paving the way for the airline's return to Priceline.
Northwest exited Priceline's name-your-own price business in May 2002, complaining that Priceline changed its business model when it began experimenting with selling retail and branded airline tickets.
And Northwest exited Priceline and LowestFare.com in November 2004, with the airline citing the high distribution costs, including the GDS fees associated with selling tickets through Priceline.
This week, Al Lenza, Northwest's vice president of distribution and e-commerce, stated that "Priceline.com has developed a supplier-friendly structure and offers marketing opportunities that meet our needs and allows us to broaden the online base of travelers we serve."
Asked to clarify what "supplier-friendly structure" means, Northwest spokesman Roman Blahoski said "Priceline.com has provided Northwest with competitive distribution economics."
To contact reporter Dennis Schaal, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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