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Airlines, firms battle over booking system

BEIJING -- Airlines want to raise new revenues by selling extras such as guaranteed seat assignments, special meals and lounge access.

They're locked in battle with three companies that dominate the bookings industry over the introduction of a new global reservation system.

Carriers complain the current system is a costly 1970s throwback without Internet-era convenience. They want to cut out the global ticketing systems to save money.

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe said at an aviation industry conference in Beijing on Tuesday that carriers might be forced to abandon traditional distributors if they fail to change.

The ticketing systems retort that they have invested to upgrade services and are working hard to meet carriers' needs.

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In this Jan. 26, 2010 photo, an unidentified passenger uses a Delta Airlines self check-in kiosk at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Extra legroom, special meals, access to the VIP lounge — and tickets to a musical(AP)

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