Lufthansa Group’s imposition of a €16 fee for all bookings through global distribution systems from September has come under fire from the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association.

The agents’ group is objecting to the new charge and will be consulting with other travel sector organisations in response to the move.

The SPAA is calling for an early meeting with Lufthansa management to protest against the move.

SPAA vice president and air/GDS convener, Alan Glen, said: “The Lufthansa Group has announced this charge with no forewarning and no consultation with its travel partners regarding these costs, which have traditionally and rightly been an accepted element of airlines’ legitimate operating costs.

“It is entirely unacceptable that Lufthansa group airline passengers – whether business or leisure – should be faced with such unexpected additional costs, simply because they choose to place their travel purchasing in the hands of professional travel agents, rather than book direct with the carrier.

“It is also unacceptable that this was done without prior consultation by Lufthansa with its travel sector partners, and most importantly it is simply wrong that passengers should be pushed towards booking direct when they have established and valued commercial relationships with their travel service providers.

“This is the thin end of a very regressive wedge that could see other airlines and alliances take up such unjustified charging.”