September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
British Airways’ passenger numbers and revenue could be hit when its GDS charge comes into force later this year, the GTMC has warned.
The airline, along with Iberia, will add an £8 charge to any booking made through the GDS from November.
The charge, which is similar to the one introduced two years ago by Lufthansa, will apply to any bookings not made using an NDC-based connection, or through channels such as websites, airline sales offices and call-centres.
BA said the charge recovers the “significantly greater costs” applied through booking with the GDS.
The GTMC said it was “disappointed” in this move and that any form of surcharge to the customer cannot be deemed anything other than “bad profits”.
“While making the claim that the GDS is more expensive we would like to see robust evidence from BA to prove that point when all factors such as technology development and marketing costs, revenue and average ticket price are taken into consideration” the organisation’s CEO Paul Wait said.
“Feedback we have received from corporate travellers suggests overwhelmingly that this is not a charge they will willingly accept.
“This can only add insult to the injury of what has been a testing time for BA. Over the weekend the TMC community worked tirelessly to support its clients - BA customers - so to see this level of loyalty and support ignored and even penalised is frustrating to say the least. As a result we fear both passenger and revenue numbers will suffer,” Wait said.
In a letter sent to agents and seen by BBT, it said its distribution strategy is focused on providing an “enhanced range of booking options to partners”.
“We appreciate this represents significant change for your business and therefore, in order to give you time to adapt and consider the range of options available to you, we will not be implementing the charge until 1 November, 2017.”
GDS provider Travelport told BBT the fee “penalises” consumers looking to book travel through the travel agency medium.
“Travelport regrets that British Airways and Iberia are imposing what looks like the equivalent of a travel agency APD seeking to penalise consumers who enjoy the benefits of choice, efficiency and value…they will be penalised both through this surcharge and the potential introduction of less efficient working practices,” the company said.
“We remain fully engaged with British Airways and Iberia to work in good faith on mechanisms to connect with travel agencies and travellers, including the integration into our system of their content through their API - when it is fully functioning -just as we have done with other airlines,” it added.
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