GBTA: Travelers Will Decrease Lufthansa Spend Over Surcharge
The Global Business Travel Association has released an internal poll that showed 50 percent of business travelers who currently fly with Lufthansa Airlines will decrease their spending with the German carrier if it goes through with its plane to enact a surcharge on Sept. 1.
Lufthansa announced earlier this year it would impose a fee of 16 euros on passengers if they purchased a ticket on the airline through a third-party outlet such as an online travel agency. The fee can be avoided if travelers book directly with Lufthansa.
The GBTA poll found that 51 percent would definitely or probably not use Lufthansa going forward.
"GBTA continues to hold its position that this planned strategy will negatively impact corporate travel programs," the advocacy group said in a statement. "It is a direct price increase to managed travel programs with no corresponding benefit. It could also ultimately lead to decreased price transparency if carried out by not only Lufthansa, but other airlines in the industry."
Lufthansa believes that by avoiding the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) costs with this fee, it can open a new revenue stream. The airline has faced stiff criticism from travel groups, including GBTA, Ensemble Travel Group, and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).
But Lufthansa has received support from fellow airlines, and industry observers expect others to follow after it monitors Lufthansa’s plan following the Sept. 1 start date.
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