BTC Forms Spinoff To Fight Lufthansa Decision
The Business Travel Coalition has formed another spinoff group, this time to fight the move made by Lufthansa Airlines earlier this month in which the German carrier imposed a surcharge for tickets bought through travel agent channels.
The BTC has formed AirChannelChoice.travel as a broad coalition of global stakeholders to promote travel distribution system choice for travel agencies and their customers. Currently there are 58 founding members from 10 countries with businesses or operations in 46 countries and territories. Members include consumer groups, corporate and university travel departments, travel agencies, travel management companies (TMCs) and travel industry associations.
BTC said Lufthansa's proposed plan, which would add a 16 Euro surcharge to any ticket not purchased through the airline, “would have negative worldwide implications for the competitive structure of the industry, travel agents and their customers.”
The mission of AirChannelChoice.travel is to elevate the public-policy discourse regarding airline industry distribution issues and to promote travel distribution system choice for travel agencies and their customers. The objectives are to:
• Ensure that there is a powerful, well-articulated and broadly supported public-policy position regarding the issue of distribution channel discrimination
• Encourage regulators in the EU and U.S. to pursue timely analysis and action regarding potentially anti-competitive and anti-consumer airline policies and practices in the marketplace for travel distribution services
• Educate legislatures and regulators on the benefits of intra channel competition in travel distribution and emerging threats and opportunities with respect to consumer choice and price transparency.
Industry professionals can join here.
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