Delta expands ancillary sale options with Travelport

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Delta Air Lines has reached an agreement with Travelport to begin selling seats in its economy comfort premium cabin through the global distribution system (GDS) in the second half.

Travel agents who use the Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan systems will be able to sell the seats as a result of the agreement.

"This agreement with Delta Air Lines underscores that Travelport is ready, willing and able to deliver technology to merchandise ancillary products and services through the travel agency channel to provide travellers with additional options and added convenience," says Derek Sharp, president of the Americas at Travelport.

Delta says this is its largest ancillary product partnership to date.

The deal comes as American Airlines' anti-trust claim that Travelport monopolises access to its travel agent subscriber base is still pending in court and its similar lawsuit against Sabre is set to come to trial on 3 October.

The Fort Worth-based airline wants the GDS's to implement technology that allows it to sell additional merchandising through the channels while, in the Sabre case at least, the GDS claims that this would allow travel agents to bypass its systems.

American, and to a lesser extent Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways, has been pushing for direct connections with travel agents in certain instances, which would avoid GDS transaction fees.