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Travel industry news

01 Sep 2015

BY Edward Robertson


SPAA condemns Lufthansa's €16 booking charge

The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) has condemned Lufthansa’s €16 Distribution Cost Charge (DCC) as “excessive and opaque”.


Following a specially convened meeting between SPAA members and Lufthansa management to discuss the charge which launches today, the association’s vice president and air convener Alan Glen added the new booking portal was “not fit for purpose”.


The comments come following last week’s meeting held in Glasgow and attended by 25 members of the association covering both business and leisure air travel.


They were also holding the results of a recent survey of SPAA members about the charges which Glen said showed “the vast majority of them are very unhappy with the Lufthansa stance.


“In fact the survey would indicate that many have already, independently, taken the decision to actively sell away from LH group airlines."


He added those who attended the meeting were disappointed by Lufthansa’s inability to provide detailed answers to most of the questions asked.


They also criticised the new agency portal and its registration process as well as the fact that the agent’s helpline only operates between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.


Glen said: "A word much used by the Lufthansa team during the meeting was ’transparency’ and their commitment to it.


“Yet when questioned in detail by SPAA members who were attempting to analyse the validity of the €16 charge, Lufthansa managers could not demonstrate transparency in the calculation of the DCC charges and present their costing model to us.


“Also, when asked they were not prepared to accept our pragmatic and sensible proposal of a delay in the introduction of DCC until the technology catches up.


"For now, it is evident that Lufthansa’s DCC package is simply not fit for purpose. It adds unjustified new cost and a technically unproven extra operational burden to the already heavy workload of the airline group’s Travel Partners.


“The SPAA’s Air Committee - along with travel sector colleague organisations - will continue to challenge Lufthansa to review and change its approach to its future partnership with the travel sector."

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