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Lufthansa German Airlines Booking Surcharge

By August 28, 2015 January 29th, 2019 No Comments
August 28, 2015

Lufthansa German Airlines Booking Surcharge

Beginning September 1, 2015, the Lufthansa Airlines Group (which includes Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Germanwings, etc.) will charge €16 Euros for reservations made through “indirect distribution channels” including travel agency reservations systems.  This additional charge will show up in a tax code line and is non-refundable, even if the airline ticket is refundable.

Imposing this surcharge will force customers to make a choice between higher fares or higher costs for the services their managed program needs.  Why?  Because booking on the airline website, or through “screen scraping” technology, compromise customers’ ability to comparison shop, receive transparent pricing and collect essential information used for pre-trip reporting and traveler tracking.

Clients whose air programs include the Lufthansa Group airlines currently have three options, each with downsides:

  1. Pay the distribution surcharge – under this option corporate customers unfairly pay a disproportionate share of Lufthansa’s distribution costs.  But it is the best option for ensuring comparison shopping, pricing transparency, and information needed to keep traveler safe, track travel expenses and influence traveler buying decisions.
  2. Book competing carriers – in markets served by competing carriers, clients reserve the option to request that we book away.  This option represents only a partial solution, since it rests on the availability of city pairs served by multiple carriers.
  3. Alternative booking channels – the alternative booking channels suggested by the Lufthansa Group (Agent Portal, Direct Connect and airline websites) include significant disadvantages and/or costs that clearly outweigh any advantages.

For additional information, please click here.

SteveN

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