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Agents to switch-sell away from BA

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Travel agents react negatively towards GDS fee
Some agents interviewed by TTG in the UK admit they will switch-sell away from British Airways wherever possible, after BA and Iberia announced a GDS booking fee.
BA’s £8 (€9.50) fee, to be introduced from November 1, is designed to turn bookings towards the airline’s NDC (New Distribution Capability) and other direct channels. It will be levied per fare component.
Agents were quick to make a comparison with Lufthansa, which launched a €16 GDS booking fee in September 2015.
“I don’t sell Lufthansa if I can help it, and I think this new decision means you sell other airlines where you can,” said Paul Smith owner of Twickenham-based WOT Travel said.
“The public can be quite fickle [when it comes to extra fees], as they’re not affected in the same way we are. I have zero sympathy for BA if they lose out.”
Andrew Earle of Andrew Earle’s Holidays in Hull added: “We don’t have any problem with switch-selling BA and it goes to show the way they treat the travel trade does have an impact. If they think that’s the way forward then there’s not much the trade can do.”
Paul Wait, GTMC chief executive, disputed suggestions that GDSs were 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,” he said.
Over the weekend, TMCs worked tirelessly to support clients – BA customers – so to see this level of loyalty and support ignored, and even penalised, is frustrating. As a result we fear both passenger and revenue numbers will suffer.”
TTG Digital

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