Lufthansa will charge UK agents £11.30 per GDS booking from Tuesday as it remains committed to transforming distribution by imposing a worldwide Distribution Cost Charge (DCC) equivalent to €16.
The carrier’s UK regional director, Christian Schindler, hailed the charge as “a game changer”.
Confirmation of the DCC in sterling came as the European Commission was poised to receive at least two further complaints against Lufthansa.
The European agents and tour operators’ association Ectaa submitted a complaint earlier this month alleging the charge would breach the EC computer reservations system code of conduct.
Travel Weekly understands the European Technology and Travel Services Association (Ettsa), which represents the major GDSs and online agents, is poised to make a similar complaint, while at least one GDS is formulating a complaint of abuse of market dominance. Ettsa declined to comment.
The Advantage Focus Partnership has written to Lufthansa to express “considerable concern” and inform the carrier its 66 corporate travel members have begun a policy of non-cooperation.
Advantage corporate director Ken McLeod said: “The distribution network in its current form will be irreparably damaged by differential pricing on this scale by a major airline. If successful, it will be replicated across the airline industry.”
The carrier expects the fee to hit sales of lower-class fares, but Schindler insisted: “Our bookings are strong. Only after September 1 will we find out who is charging [the DCC] and who is absorbing it.”
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