The majority of UK travel management companies are turning their back on Lufthansa’s €16 GDS fee.

Two-thirds (67%) of the Guild of Travel Management Companies’ membership have declared that they have not registered for the Lufthansa website in order to avoid a levy applied to third party distributors who book via a GDS.

A further quarter (27%) have registered, but only to look at the functionality and capability of the Lufthansa agency portal, and not to use it for bookings.

Just 6% of GTMC member businesses have signed up to but will only use the direct channel, bypassing a GDS, if requested to do so by a client.

The German carrier is encouraging TMCs to book via; however, the site cannot provide any of the reporting or duty of care functionality required by TMCs, according to the GTMC.

The figures emerged as a formal compliant was lodged with the European Commission over the Distribution Cost Charge by the European Technology & Travel Services Association (Ettsa).

GTMC chief executive, Paul Wait, said: “Lufthansa has publically claimed that TMCs have been signing up to use their website directly. However, the behaviour of GTMC members show that simply isn’t the case.

“In fact, our member booking activity is testament that the GDS levy isn’t working.

“The good news for airlines who recognise and support TMCs is that Lufthansa is handing corporate travel bookings to them.

“The changes from Lufthansa may have been rooted in trying to solve cost challenges for the airline, however, they haven’t addressed what corporate customers and business passengers want.”