Expedia won't add surcharge to Northwest, KLM tickets

Expedia Inc. sought an edge in the online travel wars this week by announcing it won't add a surcharge to the price of tickets it sells for flights with Northwest Airlines Corp. and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The action undercuts a decision by Fort Worth, Texas-based Travelocity.com Inc. last month to add a surcharge to tickets on flights with St. Paul, Minn.-based Northwest and its trans-Atlantic partner KLM. The surcharge of as much as US$10 per ticket was passed on to customers after Northwest and Netherlands-based KLM announced that they would no longer pay the commission for tickets sold online by a third party.

Expedia spokeswoman Suzi LeVine said the announcement doesn't apply to tickets bought wholesale from airlines, which Bellevue, Wash.-based Expedia then sells for a profit.

The exact terms of the agreement between Expedia, Northwest and KLM weren't made public. LeVine said, however, this may not be an exclusive agreement.

"It's not something that we speak about publicly in terms of our relationships," she said, but, "this agreement points to the fact that we're happy to talk to anybody about this."

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