British Airways May Return to Commissions


UK-based TTG is reporting that British Airways has refused to rule out a return to paying agents commission as calls from the travel trade mount for the reintroduction of the scheme that was scrapped in 2005.

Scott Davies, BA’s head of TMC channels, said nothing had been ruled out in the airline’s consultation process with agents to evaluate incentives, such as sales and marketing agreements, revealed in TTG last week. Davies admitted the industry had “changed radically” in recent years and said the airline had to move with the times.

He said nothing had been ruled out in the consultation with TMCs but added: “We moved to 0 percent commission in 2005, recognizing that the role of the travel agent had changed. It allowed agents to charge their own scale of service fees in addition to the ticket price. Services offered by agents will continue to be driven by customer needs, with agents charging for the services which their customers require.”

Meanwhile, HRG director Tony Berry said BA would get trade support for its decision to go ahead with its new all-business-class service from London City to New York JFK, tickets for which went on sale this week.