GDS companies should be forced to bargain for access to new ancillary services, Delta Air Lines told the U.S. Transportation Department.

In comments on a proposed rule that would require airlines to provide optional service fee data to GDSs, the carrier said it is considering the GDSs as a distribution channel for ancillary services and expects to negotiate with them for access. But Delta added that GDSs have not effectively demonstrated to airlines the technological capability to sell ancillary services.

Their primary capability is to distribute air travel based on price and schedule, it said.

There is no differentiation based on customer preferences or value proposition offered by the airline, Delta said.

Ancillary products must be delivered in a far more targeted and personalized fashion, it said.

Delta intends to distribute new products and services based on customer preferences. The price of these products may also differ based on criteria such as frequent flyer status or fare paid.

Delta will consider negotiating access to these products if the GDSs develop and demonstrate the capability to distribute ancillary services in a way that allows for this personalization, the carrier said.                     

The GDSs should not be allowed to use the regulatory process to bypass negotiations with airlines, Delta said.

Delta's comments were the first indication that the carrier's merchandising strategy is similar to American's.

American has said that it plans to incorporate its proprietary customer segmentation data in determining what products and services to offer customers and at what price.