Travel management companies say no to easyJet GDS fees

Major travel management companies have reaffirmed their refusal to pay a £10 fee to book easyJet via global distribution systems.

They will continue to access fares online and say the carrier’s attempt to build GDS sales is suffering.

Guild of Travel Management Companies and Portman Travel deputy-chairman Mike Hare said: “EasyJet is receiving nothing incremental [in sales] and the numbers will confirm that.”

The GTMC has asked members not to book easyJet on GDSs as it fears other airlines, led by British Airways, will follow suit with a fee.

Guild members handle up to 80% of UK business travel and Capita Business Travel managing director Simone Buckley said: “Travel management companies can access easyJet content online.”

EasyJet insists it is taking some TMC bookings and will not compromise its online sales by axeing the GDS fee.

BA indicated it is watching events closely. Head of corporate sales Richard Tams told the GTMC conference last week: “We have not gone down the easyJet route, but we sympathise. If airlines make their lowest fares available on GDSs they lose the car hire and accommodation [sales] that might accompany them.”

Sabre is the only GDS not to carry easyJet, but remains in talks with the carrier. Sabre senior vice-president for Europe Martin Cowley said: “We sympathise with TMCs’ view that there is no way they will take easyJet content.”

Lufthansa will introduce a booking fee for most German agents on July 1, charging €4.90 per sector. However, some will pay considerably more and others nothing.

The carrier will impose a general €30 rise in fares from Germany from July. But fares on its own website will not change and fares available to the 80% of agents who have paid for a Preferred Fare deal via GDSs will pay the €4.90 fee on the old fare – unless they book on Sabre, in which case they will pay no fee.

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