Here is the response from the Business Travel Coalition. I have to say I agree with them!
Northwest have created a fortress in MSP
by taking control of the whole of the new terminal for themselves and their partners.
After my flight this past weekend on Southwest, I'm going to fly them wherever I need to go. Since I have no desire to go to the Dakotas, NW
won't be in my schedule!
BTC Cautions On Northwest Airlines' Announcement
Airline telegraphing future business intentions, says group
RADNOR, PA., January 4, 2005--The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) today responded with concern that Northwest Airlines (NWA) would issue a Statement warning competitors that Delta Air Lines' anticipated airfare structure simplification would…"immediately adversely and significantly affect industry revenues." The NWA Statement http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/01-04-2005/0002767518&EDATE=
, released at the close of business today, clearly telegraphs, in effect, that NWA does not plan or contemplate changes to its fares in response to a fare simplification initiative by Delta.
Time Magazine on Sunday was the first news outlet to report that Delta would be expanding its "SimpliFares" experiment at Cinci nnati throughout its domestic U.S.< /span> system. Apparently, Delta would neither confirm nor deny news reports. The Delta fare structure lowers and simplifies fares and fees, and eliminates some restrictions. This is similar to an initiative called Value Pricing, introduced in 1992 by American Airlines, which according to industry observers was derailed by NWA.
Through its public Statement today, NWA is dangerously close to embracing an anticompetitive practice that the U.S. Department of Justice addressed a decade ago. On December 21, 1992, the U.S. DOJ sued major U.S. airlines because airlines were announcing future fare plans through ATPCO with an implicit invitation to competitors to agree. To end this practice, airlines, including NWA, entered into a 10-year consent decree effective August 10, 1994, which forbade telegraphing future business intentions. While the consent decree expired in 2004, the underlying antitrust policy continues to be valid.
BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell stated, "The airline industry has a long and checkered history of anticompetitive problems, and business travelers have too often been victimized by the collusive actions of major airlines. BTC will monitor developments closely in coming days, and if necessary, call upon the U.S. DOJ and State Attorney Generals to investigate."