American Airlines to charge Travelport agents

first_imgFrom February next year, travel agents based outside the United States who book American Airlines (AA) using a Travelport global distribution system can expect to be hit with a per sector charge.In a letter to travel agents, AA sales vice president Derek DeCross said that, “owing primarily to dramatic booking fee increases very recently notified to American by Travelport”, agents will have to bear the brunt of the cost hike to keep AA “sustainable”.“[T]o the extent that you [the travel agent] particularly value the service of one of these GDSs, American will ask you to absorb their cost premium to American,” Mr DeCross’ letter read.According to Mr DeCross, asking the travel agents (and consequently their clients) to pay these costs is “necessary to bring the net cost of such GDSs reasonably in line with the cost to American of other GDSs and distribution platforms available in the marketplace”. “[T]hese GDSs have become significantly more expensive to American than all other booking platforms in the affected international markets,” Mr DeCross said.Australian travel agents who use a Travelport GDS will be charged AUD11.95 per sector, Canadians will be charged CAD2.05, Chinese CNY143.44, Indonesians IDR131,717.50and New Zealanders NZD17.29. Despite advising AA will continue to distribute fares through Travelport GDSs, Mr DeCross’ letter went on to inform agents of GDSs which will not be charged, including AA’s own Direct Connect.Travelport GDS president and chief executive Gordon Wilson made very clear Travelport “does not condone” the actions of AA to impose additional charges where Travelport is being used as the GDS.“Through this action, AA is penalising the very people who deliver valuable revenue to AA in these international markets,” Mr Wilson said.“It is quite clear that as any additional charges by AA will effectively be borne by consumers, the true cost of booking AA will need to be shown to consumers at the point where a buying decision is made so that consumers can make an informed choice about which carrier to fly,” Earlier this month Travelport lodged a complaint in an Illinois court, suing AA for attempting to block online travel agency Orbitz’s ability to sell AA flights, Bloomberg reported.“Travelport remains committed to resolving the dispute with AA which has arisen through what Travelport regards as an attempt by AA to force travel agencies into their Direct Connect model thereby inhibiting consumer choice between multiple airline providers, pushing more costs to travel agencies and resulting in a less efficient and fair industry model,” Mr Wilson said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img

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