The Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong has issued a notice to its 1,500 members urging them to stop providing ticketing and enquiry services for Lufthansa and SWISS. The move comes in retaliation to the airlines’ implementation of a zero-commission policy, in effect since June 1. However, the reactions from the trade have been mixed.
Tommy Tam, managing director, Arrow Travel: “The carriers only informed us three months before and it was all very rushed. Air France/KLM [which adopted the zero-commission practice in April 2010] gave us one year’s notice. [But] travel consultants have no choice but to accept.”
Tam intends to promote other airlines that offer commission and charge customers who request Lufthansa and SWISS flights.
Jacky Chan, assistant general manager at FIT specialists Eastrip Travel: “We don’t want to turn away business. I will book the ticket for my client if he agrees to bear the HK$300 (US$39) handling charge. To stay competitive we will diversify our products and services, such as offering short-haul FIT packages to China for one or two days.”
[photo courtesy Star Alliance]