OPERATORS sidelined by British Airways’ new inclusive
tour and net rules fear the company put in charge of ticketing will not be
ready in time for next week’s launch.

Lime Management has been appointed general sales agent
for all operators whose contracts are ending on September 1 and who don’t turn
over £5 million of BA business.

However, operators are worried they are stepping into
the unknown with Lime, a firm set-up specifically to administer BA inclusive
tour and net tickets.

Funway Holidays sales director Gerry Boyle said: “This
is drastically going to change my business yet we know very little about Lime,
how it operates and if it will be ready for next week. It is not tried and
tested and we don’t know what the ticketing turnaround time will be.”

Another operator, which did not want to be named,
said: “A letter we received from Lime said it is still recruiting, so how do we
know it’s going to have the right staff on the day to make it work?”

Operators have also expressed concern at Lime’s terms
and conditions, particularly the stipulation that payments need to be made on a
weekly, rather than monthly, basis.BA head of consumer sales Andrew Swaffield
insisted Lime is ready for September 1. “The majority of agents have welcomed
the introduction of Lime because it gives them access to inclusive tour and net
fares for the first time, particularly small operators,” he said.