War of words between Travelport and BA

Directors of both companies send letters to agents

A war of words between British Airways and the GDS service provider Travelport is heating up a series of commercial negotiations.

BA’s head of UK and Ireland sales and marketing, Richard Tams, distributed a letter to agents earlier this week claiming that if an imminent deadline was not be met for the end of the negotiations, the airline would deselect some of its lowest economy fare classes from content made available to the GDS.

He added that a surcharge would be added as part of the fare, “consistent with our policy of imposing such surcharges for the provision of content to GDSs that do not meet the standards to be a fully participating GDS.”

In response, Travelport’s chief commercial officer Kurt Ekert has sent out his own letter.

“The threatened actions of BA and its communications to corporate and other customers are disruptive and unhelpful,” it said.

“It is regrettable that this is how this fine airline has chosen to conduct its negotiations, particularly when, as previously stated, Travelport has offered to maintain the status quo beyond the current term while both parties seek to finalise revised terms for the benefit of all concerned.

“Travelport will not put up deadlines or take proactive action against BA while our dialogue continues, but we will respond if our business, or that of our customers, is threatened.”

TTG Digital

[pictured: A380; courtesy British Airways]