12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
TMCs have welcomed the change in fare rules by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which came into effect last week
The new rules allow agents based in one country to buy and issue tickets in another. It also means that published fares which often differed from country to country will now be the same regardless of the country of purchase.
Mr Ron DiLeo, American Express's svp head of business travel EMEA, called the IATA move “huge step” while Mike Platt, managing director for BTI UK said it offered his company a “greater opportunity” to benefit its customers.
Amex has already started trials with selected major corporations of a “new, centralised processing system.”
This aims is to cut costs to clients by further reducing complexity, improve access to the lowest fares and streamline the booking, ticketing, fulfilment and settlement process, which includes dealing with local taxes and VAT.
The trials are aimed at improving these back office processes which the IATA change has made more complicated.
Mr DiLeo paid tribute to the pressure applied to IATA by the EC and various industry bodies including GEBTA, ECTAA, CTAG and ACTE.
He said: “It's no secret that the European landscape for air travel is a complex web of accreditation, settlement, ticketing and inventories, all of which adds, what we believe to be, unnecessary costs to the supply chain.
“We feel strongly about working with industry lobby groups and the European Commission to encourage IATA to simplify this process.”
“This move by IATA represents a great first step towards transforming our business, as we work together in bringing renewed profitability to our industry.
“IATA has taken a huge step in opening up the travel market with new fare regulations, and we intend to make full use of the new operating environment. We view this as a concrete opportunity to eliminate out-dated practices and deliver tangible benefits to all our customers across Europe.”
Mr Platt said the essential change was the lifting of restrictions that often "Plus Up” a fare when purchased outside the country in which the trip originates.
”There will now be greater opportunity for BTI to ensure that your travellers benefit from the lowest combination of ‘sector fares' for each leg of their journey – irrespective of where in Europe your business is managed, or from where payment is to be made,” he said.
He added that all BTI systems had been re-programmed to reflect the revised rules for ‘auto pricing'.
“This follows our issue of a detailed technical briefing to all BTI operational staff in December 2004, explaining the changes and how they should be managed into our customer service process,” Mr Platt said.