GBTA Studies How Travel Buyers Are Reacting to Lufthansa Surcharge

busness traveler
Photo by Ullman

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and its European partner network has released a new study showing that 42 percent of travel buyers surveyed have decreased bookings with Lufthansa since it implemented a new surcharge September 1. The €16 charge applies to all bookings on Lufthansa Group airlines made anywhere other than its websites, service centers and airport ticket counters.

Additionally, 93 percent of those surveyed are currently not considering the option to book directly on Lufthansa’s site and 39 percent are seeking alternative carriers. 2 percent of travel buyers surveyed said that they would book directly with Lufthansa to avoid the €16 fee.

Lufthansa announced the new "Distribution Cost Charge" (DCC) of EUR 16 back in June. The change is part of an overall strategy shift by the Lufthansa Group airlines -- Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) -- that focuses on earning a greater portion of revenue from flight operations, as opposed to ticket sales. Presently, the costs for using GDS are several times higher than for other booking methods, such as Lufthansa's online portal at, LHG said in a statement announcing the decision.

GBTA’s survey of global traveler buyers was conducted online between October 14 and 19. In total 434 travel buyers representing an estimated $44B in global buying power participated in the survey.