Judge Lets Stand Cap On Commissions

FRIDAY, FEB. 7, 1997

A federal judge has refused to order reinstatement of a 10 percent commission that travel agents once received for booking airline tickets.

The airlines capped commissions two years ago, setting a limit of $50 for any domestic round-trip ticket and $25 on one-way fares. The agents sued, alleging that the airline conspired to set commissions at artificially low levels, then announced the limits at different times to give the impression that they were acting independently.

Six of the country’s largest airlines agreed in September to pay $86 million to settle the lawsuit, but some travel agents objected because U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum didn’t reinstate the 10 percent commissions.

In a final ruling last week, Rosenbaum found that travel agency service does not mandate a particular compensation schedule.

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