Arguably the first quarter since before the pandemic in which year-over-year comparisons are instructive, the three-month period ending in June produced financial results for the big three U.S. airlines that attested to trends in distribution. Overall, the airlines paid out more than $1.6 billion in an expense category comprised predominantly of travel agency, global distribution system and credit card costs. That was up from over $1.4 billion a year earlier.

The growth wasn't proportional. Reflecting their respective approaches to the corporate and agency channels, Delta paid $125 million more and . . .

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