The cartoon just to the right of this column depicts a battle between a monster and a villain. Before you get the urge to take sides, consider that, according to the movies, neither Darth Vader nor Godzilla was irredeemably evil.

Perhaps the fates were unkind and they were exposed to forces that brought out the worst in them. Perhaps they were simply misunderstood. Unfortunately, they did not always appreciate the magnitude of the collateral damage they caused.

We feel the same way about the real-world airlines and GDSs.

But in the real world, we suspect the so-called GDS wars will end up wreaking a lot less havoc than some commentators fear.

A lot of parties have an interest in the outcome, including other technology companies, online and traditional travel sellers, corporate travel managers and other suppliers -- not to mention the airlines and the GDS operators themselves.

We dont believe for a moment that this large supporting cast is going to end up buried in a pile of rubble at the end of the movie.

Whats going on in the real world, the business world, are commercial negotiations, not science fiction. The end of the world is not a likely scenario.

As we report in our news pages today, some very big players, with names like Sabre and Galileo, have signed important, long-term content agreements with some other big names like United and Delta.

Others will follow.

Yes, there will be plot twists. There may even be casualties. But we have enough faith in the marketplace to predict that the lights will come back on and the travel industry will be able to go about its business.

In the meantime, hold on to your seats.

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Cruise executives tell Travel Weeklys TC column (see Movie night on the high seas) that they plan to see the movie Poseidon and are confident that the flick will not scare people out of booking cruise vacations.

Its the right thing to say, and its probably true.

The new movie is a remake of the 1972 classic disaster film The Poseidon Adventure, in which a rogue wave capsizes an ocean liner, forcing our heroes to escape by climbing up into the interior of the ship and escaping through the keel. Luckily, a rescue crew was standing by with a blowtorch to cut through the steel.

A quick reading of recent history suggests that Hollywoods improbable disaster scenarios dont keep people out of skyscrapers, airplanes or earthquake fault zones. Also, cruising had a couple of good years after Titanic hit the big screen in 1997, so were not much worried about Poseidon.

Of greater concern for travelers, travel sellers and travel suppliers is the real-world task of risk assessment when it comes to matters such as smoking on a ship, overindulging when on vacation, trusting the wrong people or not taking sensible precautions.

No traveler needs to know how to get out of an upside-down cruise ship, but as we head into the peak season, maybe we all need to be reminded that the things that can really hurt us are not always villains and monsters, just as the things that can save us are usually pretty boring -- things like seat belts and sunscreen.

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