British Airways’ Plan Lets Agents Avoid New GDS Fee

British Airways

British Airways and Iberia have launched a new distribution capability (NDC) that will allow travel agents to avoid the airlines recently-launched GDS fee.

According to a statement provided to Travel Agent, British Airways developed the NDC with TPConnects, a level 3 certified travel aggregator with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

British Airways and Iberia, which are both owned by parent company IAG, announced back in May that the two airlines will begin applying a surcharge to bookings not made using an NDC-based connection on November 1, including bookings made through a GDS. A representative of TPConnects told Travel Agent that the NDC will allow travel agents to avoid the surcharge when booking British Airways and Iberia tickets. TPConnects is also exempt from the surcharge on Lufthansa Group flights.

FREE Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4

Are you prepared to guide your clients through the “new normal” of travel? Join us December 15, 2020 from 1pm-2:20pm EST for Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4. The upcoming installment of our FREE virtual series will feature presentations from the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, and Seabourn on their most up-to-date travel procedures, health & safety protocols they’ve implemented to keep guests safe, activities that are open to visitors, what your clients need to know while on their trip and more! Visit www.pivotingbacktotravel to view the full agenda and register for your FREE pass.

TPConnects said it has integrated directly into the airlines NDC APIs with a B2B reseller platform and internet booking engine for Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Travel agents using the TPConnects Travel Aggregator Platform or the Internet booking engine will be able to access the airlines offerings directly, including ancillary products and perform after sales service like refund, change of date and flight changes, the company said. Travel agents will also have access to rich content like videos, pictures and personalized preferences in both the B2B and online channel.

The new booking capability comes as more airlines are adding surcharges for bookings through GDS connections. Lufthansa Group added the first GDS surcharge, of 16 Euros, back in 2015, arguing that the cost of distribution through GDS was higher than through other channels. The new policy drew criticism from travel industry groups and travel agents, with then-Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben arguing that the move would place Lufthansa at a competitive disadvantage on airfare pricing.

In April, Ukraine International (UIA) also introduced a fee for non-partnered travel agents when booking tickets on behalf of their clients using a GDS.

Related Stories

New Delta Flights From Atlanta to Shanghai

Air New Zealand Names New Regional General Manager, Launches New Tokyo Flights

Frontier Airlines to Add New Flights and Destinations

The Surprising Drinks Order That Annoys Flight Attendants the Most

Suggested Articles:

Thailand announced a new tourist visa for U.S. travelers to apply in advance to visit safely for up to 60 days. Here's what you need to know.

Accor is taking full ownership of sbe’s hotel asset light business and entered an all-share merger with Ennismore. Here's what it means.

After cruising successfully in Europe the past few months, MSC Cruises is the first major line to receive approval for cruises from Japan. Read more.