ADVANTAGE Travel Centres business travel development manager Norman Gage has criticised British Airways' service level agreements for being one-sided.
The airline announced plans to pay more money to agents who can prove they can add value to BA's service, for example by demonstrating efficient distribution methods (Travel Weekly August 16).
Gage said:"A service level agreement should be both ways. It is fair enough for BA to put forward things that they think the travel agents should do to reduce their cost of sale, but BA should also listen to what agents think the airline could do to reduce the travel agents' cost of sale."He said travel agents are expected to make a lot of effort on behalf of airlines, such as issuing refunds, and are often blamed by the public when airlines make mistakes, such as when a ticket on departure is not available for collection at the airport, or when the airline staff goes on strike.
Gage said:"Part of BA's proposal is to reward agents who issue electronic tickets. But if the agent has done his or her job correctly and an e-ticket goes astray, Ithink the agent should be compensated. Mistakes such as this are not the travel agent's fault but could lose the agent an account."
A BA spokeswoman said:"Our lines of communication are always open for agents."
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