British Airways Unrolls New GDS Fee, Invoking Ire

by Barbara Peterson
British Airways Unrolls New GDS Fee, Invoking Ire

IAG airline group, parent company of both British Airways and Iberia, will introduce a fee of roughly $10 per booking on all sales through GDSs. Photo: Joao Carlos Medau


Major travel industry organizations expressed alarm over a new fee on GDS bookings, this one from the IAG airline group, parent company of British Airways and Iberia.

The fee of roughly $10 per booking on all sales through GDSs is set to take effect Nov. 1. While it’s less than the $18 surcharge imposed more than a year ago by Lufthansa and its partner airlines on such bookings, the fact that it’s coming from a big player like IAG is stoking fears that more large airlines soon will follow suit. 

In a letter announcing the change to British travel agents, IAG acknowledged that the fee “represents significant change for your business.” But it said the fee is intended to cover the added expense of selling services through GDSs. IAG also referred to the development of IATA’s New Distribution Capability, or NDC, which is laying the foundation for airlines to sell ancillary services to agents. As part of this evolution, IAG said it will soon be rolling out a new booking portal for travel agencies and other sellers.

That wasn’t enough to sway agency groups and others concerned about the impact on business if they’re forced to pass along an added charge to their clients.

“While the creation of a ‘trade portal’ is a positive sign, the complications these changes will present to our member companies’ business operations… and their presumed intent to make it difficult for agents to comparison shop on behalf of clients – only disservices the end traveler,” ASTA said in a statement. ASTA said it will “continue to monitor these developments and advocate for our members.”

GDS owners weighed in too, and predictably panned the move. “We do not think that a surcharge is in the best interest of travelers,” Amadeus said in a statement, adding that it “strongly believes that indirect distribution remains the most cost-efficient solution for all parties on a global scale.”

Travelport said it “regrets” that BA and Iberia “are seeking to penalize consumers who enjoy the benefits of choice, efficiency and value by booking through the travel agency medium.” Travelport also said consumers will be negatively affected by what it described as “less efficient working practices” that will result from the change.

American Express Global Business Travel reacted by saying that “we do not support any initiative that increases costs to our customers as a result of content fragmentation or inefficient technology.”

  3
  2
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Top Places for Retirees to Visit in 2018

1. Chicago

2. Orlando

3. Denver

4. Las Vegas

5. Phoenix

Source: Business Insider

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=83167fb0-72a4-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Ship Inspections Lead to Confident Sellers of Travel and a Better Match for Travelers

Travel agents who want to ensure their clients are booked on the right sailing rely on ship inspections for first-hand knowledge, topping brochures any day.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Even Small Travel Agencies Can Create an Online Sales Lead Generation Machine
Even Small Travel Agencies Can Create an Online Sales Lead Generation Machine

Digital advertising and content marketing may feel intimidating, but experts and successful agents believe it is both affordable and manageable for most small agencies. Part one of our two-part series.

Study Shows Americans are Leaving Vacation Time on the Table
Study Shows Americans are Leaving Vacation Time on the Table

Coalition research reveals dramatic decline in number of vacation days used, a virtual call to action for travel agents in helping travelers plan ahead to fill them.

Millennials Seek Safety and Convenience for Family Vacations
Millennials Seek Safety and Convenience for Family Vacations

The search for simplification leads one out of three Millennials with children to work with a travel agent to plan their vacation.

How to Become a Travel Agent: A Guide for the Perplexed
How to Become a Travel Agent: A Guide for the Perplexed

Selling travel is not all about free trips — but the hard work can pay off in a career that is rich in adventure and personal relationships, if you start off right.

ASTA Rebrands and Reorganizes, Drawing NACTA and Smaller Members in Closer
ASTA Rebrands and Reorganizes, Drawing NACTA and Smaller Members in Closer

The NACTA name will go away as members are folded more into the mainstream of its parent organization, and ASTA rebrands from “Agents” to “Advisors.”

For Special Needs Travelers, Travel Agents Can Make All the Difference
For Special Needs Travelers, Travel Agents Can Make All the Difference

Accessible travel is on track to soon account for 25 percent of the overall travel market, as aging Baby Boomers with disabilities retire — and they have the desire and the money to travel.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line