Lufthansa clashes with GDSs over ticket surcharge

Airline to add €16 charge to fares not booked via its website
In the latest sign that airlines are regaining control of their ticket sales, Lufthansa says it will add a €16 surcharge on tickets that are not booked through its websites and direct sales channels. It affects all flights operated by group including Austrian, Swiss and Brussels.
The move is designed to increase the amount LH earns per ticket, redirecting sales away from global distribution systems. Lufthansa says that the percentage of revenues it generates from ticket sales has been decreasing even though its costs to use GDSs are rising to more than €100 million a year.
The new €16 Distribution Cost surcharge will be added to every ticket issued by a booking channel that uses a GDS. Travel agents can avoid the surcharge by using the airline’s own website, Lufthansa says.
Lufthansa will also introduce new ticket prices this summer, classifying economy fares as “light”, “classic” and “flex”, depending on the services passengers want to include.
Madrid-based GDS Amadeus criticised the move, saying that higher costs incurred by agents may be passed on to customers.


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