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GDSs, OTAs complain to EU about Lufthansa

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Trade body lodges complaint against €16 fee for GDS bookings
A trade body for GDSs and online travel agencies has launched a formal complaint to the European Union against Lufthansa over its €16 fee for GDS bookings.
The European Technology & Travel Services Association (Ettsa) is alleging that Lufthansa, along with its sister carriers Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines, are breaching “key provisions” of the EU’s Code of Conduct on computerised reservation systems.
Lufthansa Group has been charging a controversial €16 fee for all GDS bookings since the start of this month. The fee is not charged if bookings are made directly through Lufthansa’s websites.
“The only way for travel agents to avoid the discriminatory surcharge is to switch from traditional GDSs to an alternative platform controlled by Lufthansa, where only such content is shown that Lufthansa chooses to show,” Christoph Klenner, Ettsa’s secretary general, said.
The association has filed its complaint with the EC’s Directorate-General of Mobility and Transport, which is responsible for enforcement of the Code of Conduct.
“In addition to taking travel agencies hostage and forcing them to spend unnecessary resources on the switch to Lufthansa’s platform, Lufthansa’s move will severely hurt comparison shopping and competition,” Klenner added. “Ultimately, this will lead to a more restricted choice and increased prices for consumers who will become increasingly captive.”
He said that if Lufthansa “wants to run a GDS, it needs to follow the rules for GDSs”.
TTG Digital

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