EasyJet has cut the fees it charges business travel agents to book flights via global distribution systems in face of a boycott by leading travel management companies.
The airline announced a cut in the fee from £5 to £3.30 per seat on a one-way fare this morning. EasyJet has appeared on Amadeus and the Travelport-owned Galileo and Worldspan GDS systems since the end of last year, although not on Sabre.
Low-cost carriers typically bypass GDSs and drive all bookings direct. But EasyJet is keen to increase the proportion of corporate travellers on its flights – currently about 20% of its business
The UK’s Guild of Travel Management Companies called on members early this year not to book the carrier via GDSs because of the fee. Travelport general manager Patrick Lukan admitted recently: “We have not seen the volume we anticipated.”
The Institute of Travel Management welcomed the reduction in fee, although chairman Caroline Strachan said: “We would have liked to have seen the fees removed entirely.” However, it is believed the GTMC will continue to boycott EasyJet via GDSs. GTMC members account for about 80% of UK corporate travel business.