Squaresville

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Four years after the first wave of airline commission cuts, Midwest Express has taken its place in line behind its big brothers and capped commissions at -- let's all say it together, like a mantra -- $50 roundtrip, $25 one-way, on a base rate of 8%. Too bad, Midwest Express. You used to be the cool, punk-rock airline. Now you're just another Spice Girl.

There is some debate in the retailer community about whether a box for a ticketing agency's service fee should be included on the faces of air tickets. Such a feature would make reporting service fees through the Airlines Reporting Corp. easier; it might also reveal to airlines how much agents are charging in service fees, thus giving airlines ammo if they choose to further reduce commissions. Retailers generally agree, however, that it would be good for morale if tickets had a box labeled "check here if you're ticked off about not making any money on this ticket."

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