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Published on : Friday, June 5, 2015
ACTA put out a member advisory to their members on June 2nd with details of Lufthansa Group’s (LHG) new commercial strategy. This has led to many questions from our members which we would like to address in the following.
This move is very dissapointing because now more than ever, a traveller should be able to rely on neutral and impartial advice of travel agents to find their way through the jungle of airline fares, charges, fuel surcharges and other ancillaries.
The LH strategy will be another hidden cost passed on to the consumer in the form of an added tax, fee, or surcharge which for the travel agency is considered another Non Commissionable Fee (NCF), and will require you to collect and explain to your client the additional cost that is associated to booking through a GDS. As more items continue to get thrown into this “tax” line it makes fare transparency and comparison shopping more difficult. In fact, there is no comparison shopping possible when the consumer goes on the LH website.
While consumer protection, particularly during the NDC implementaion phase, is at the root of our concerns, Lufthansa’s announcement to redirect a strategy to favour its own distribution channel goes in the opposite direction.
An advisory put out by Amadeus to their customers yesterday stated it well and is shared below. ACTA like Amadeus, believe that this is an industry issue and to move forward will require constructive dialogue among all players: airlines, travel agencies, travel buyers and technology providers. We continue to be engaged in the conversation and look forward to keeping ACTA members up to date as more information becomes available.