Lufthansa Defends Surcharge At Boyd Aviation Summit
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LAS VEGAS – As Lufthansa took the stage Tuesday at the 20th annual Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit, the German airline continued to catch flack as its controversial surcharge on tickets purchased via third-party entities went into effect hours earlier.
Lufthansa is charging a fee of €16 if tickets are not bought through its websites or at Lufthansa ticket counters.
“We have to have real-time dynamic pricing,” Lufthansa’s Larry Ryan, director of sales products, marketing and distribution, told a packed ballroom at the Bellagio Hotel.
Ryan suggested that the little-known “full-content” clause in the agreements between airlines and Global Distribution Systems (GDS) caused segment fees to increase, hence Lufthansa’s decision to try to recoup some of that money through its new fee.
In a statement issued Tuesday regarding the fee, Lufthansa said
“The market is clearly ready for innovations and developments of this kind. Our realignment of our distribution has prompted an intensive exchange of views and experiences within our industry. … But we are still as convinced as ever that offering advanced and, at the same time, substantially cheaper additional booking channels – that also allow us to better present our products – is in our customers’ best interests.”
In a statement, Amadeus, one of the three major GDS agencies, said “We believe that the interests of everyone in the travel industry from the traveler to the agents to service providers is best served by adhering to the core values of comparison, transparency and neutrality – and the consumer’s freedom to book through the channel of their choice without penalty. Lufthansa’s surcharge undermines those core values and as a result we don’t think it is a good thing for the traveler, for corporations and for agencies. It remains to be seen whether it is good for the Lufthansa Group of airlines, depending on how the industry reacts. We continue to believe that the GDS serves all these interests efficiently and, despite claims made to the contrary in support of this surcharge, cost effectively.”
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