The “value of the GDS” debate has returned with a bang, with Lufthansa introducing a levy on all bookings made via a GDS after announcing a new commercial strategy.
The Euro 16 surcharge will apply worldwide from September this year on every first issue ticket for Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Airlines. The Distribution Cost Charge will not be added to any tickets bought via the websites of the individual carriers.
Leisure agents are being encouraged to book via a dedicated portal, whilst travel management companies will be able to secure tickets online, using their existing negotiated rates.
Amadeus has reacted angrily to Lufthansa’s move, issuing a statement that says Lufthansa’s move “will make comparison and transparency more difficult” to consumers and arguing that “industry overall stands to lose from this distribution model”. Travellers will either pay more for the same service or, in the case that travel agencies are forced to accept this new commercial strategy by modifying the way they access content just for LHG, there will be extra IT costs that may ultimately be passed on to the traveller, putting the travel agent, and/or the end consumer, at a disadvantage.
PhD student in Tourism. Teaching Assistat at the Faculty of Sport and Tourism. Author of a number of travel articles. Traveller. Explorer.