ARTA is concerned that fees are first step in cost shift
A recent decision by Travelport, owner of the GDSs Galileo, Worldspan and Apollo, to charge travel agents for a number of functions that were previously free may be the first step “in a strategy to begin a major transition of GDS costs away from travel suppliers and onto the backs of travel agents,” according to the US-based Association of Retail Travel Agents. The association voiced concerns that Travelport had imposed “significant new financial terms on travel agent subscribers in order to continue use of essential booking and ticketing facilities.”
In the new rules dictated by Travelport, customers using its Agility program will be charged for some functions that were previously free. The association estimates that a monthly cost of around $35 per workstation for US subscribers could result in a medium-sized US agency with 10 Travelport device addresses paying a new fee of $4,200 per year.