September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Now in its 27th year, the Business Travel Awards
easyJet was accused of ripping off agents by charging €12 for return bookings made through the Amadeus and Travelport GDSs.
The accusation came from the UK Guild of Travel Management companies (GTMC).
It said one suggestion from its member was to boycott bookings of the low cost carrier on the GDS and "screen scrape" instead.
"That will mean extra work, and there will be a cost to our clients, but it won't be anything like the €12 rip-off that is currently being proposed," Philip Carlisle, the Guild's ceo, said.
easyJet said in response: "We are not and will never be bound by the rules and precedents of high fares legacy carriers. If we incur a cost we pass it on to the passenger."
The charges arise from easyJet making its fares more available to Amadeus and the Travelport GDSs, Galileo and Worldspan, in a deal announced last November.
At the time easyJet said it would charge €7.50 for a one way booking, €12 for a return and €5 for each flight for a multiple sector booking.
Mr Carlisle said the "irony" of easyJet's charges was that TMCs and their corporate clients had long been urging the low cost carrier to join the GDSs
"Whilst we welcome this as a step in the right direction for our clients, to charge the client far more than the tiny extra cost involved for the airline on fares that are already (by the nature of late corporate booking profiles) higher than the average no-frills price, is adding insult to injury," Mr Carlisle said.
He said the GTMC was meeting Amadeus and easyJet representatives later this month while members had been discussing the issue with Travelport.
Mr Carlisle added: "The no-frills carriers resisted the GDS channel at first because they were making big inroads into the independent, unmanaged business travel sector.
"That growth has now tapered off, and they are increasingly keen to break into the corporate market.
"As far as corporate travel is concerned, the no-frills airlines have a lot of limitations, but by joining GDSs they could have a useful role in the marketplace.
"However, they're not going to play any role at all at €12 extra a round trip.
"If the carriers want to tap into this revenue stream, that's fine by us.
"However, you win customers through persuasion, professionalism and performance – not through push-button profiteering."
easyJet said in a statement: "Unlike some of our competitors, easyJet is committed to establishing a working relationship with the trade.
"However, we are not and will never be bound by the rules and precedents of high fares legacy carriers.
"If we incur a cost we pass it on to the passenger. That's our approach to everything and is all we are doing with our approach to GDS pricing.
"We hope that the trade will see the addition of UK's largest airline's entire inventory into the GDS as positive step."