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

“It’s too easy to get complacent. Take the time to travel as much as possible, to experience things and to understand the nuances, so you never start losing that passion.” - Mark Simões, Travel Advisor

Daily Top List

Best Movies That Inspire Travel

1. One Week

2. Before Sunrise, Sunset, and Midnight Series

3. In Bruges

4. Romancing the Stone

5. Up in the Air

Source: theplanetD

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
How to Find a Great Independent Contractor for Your Travel Agency
How to Find a Great Independent Contractor for Your Travel Agency

Business is booming in 2019 — and more travel agencies than ever are looking for help. Here are some tips from both sides of the table about how to find and keep a great IC.

Personality Is Key to Crafting a Compelling Personal Brand
Personality Is Key to Crafting a Compelling Personal Brand

If you were a car, what type of car would you be? It’s not a crazy question. The car you drive usually reflects your personality, and understanding your personality is essential to creating your personal brand.

Why You Need an NDA When Selling Your Business
Why You Need an NDA When Selling Your Business

If there is no non-disclosure agreement in place, the information you share with prospective buyers can be provided to others without limit, putting your business and privacy at risk.

Can Advisors Sell Travel Through Instagram?
Can Advisors Sell Travel Through Instagram?

A favorite social media network for travel bloggers, influencers and professional advisors, Instagram is trying to become an ecommerce platform.

Big Changes Coming to Out-of-Country Travel Health Insurance Coverage for Canadians
Big Changes Coming to Out-of-Country Travel Health Insurance Coverage for Canadians

Ontario will no longer cover out-of-country travel health insurance. Here are answers to three important questions that impact travel advisors in Ontario – and across Canada.

Apple Leisure Group Addresses Travel Advisor Concerns
Apple Leisure Group Addresses Travel Advisor Concerns

Apple has named a chief human resources officer, to help blend the corporate cultures to better unite all of the brands under the OneALG.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks