ETTSA complains about EC response to Lufthansa’s DCC

The European Technology & Travel Services Association (ETSSA) has launched a formal complaint against the European Commission for failing to take action over Lufthansa’s imposition of a surcharge for bookings made through global distribution systems (GDS).

ETTSA, which represents the major GDS owners and leading online travel agencies, has filed the compliant with the European Ombudsman alleging that the European Commission has “failed to properly enforce EU law”.

The association added that consumers have paid “hundreds of millions of euros” in surcharges to Lufthansa over the past three years.

Lufthansa introduced its Distribution Cost Charge (DCC) of €16 for bookings through GDSs in September 2015.

This move has been followed by other airline companies, including International Airlines Group (IAG) whose British Airways and Iberia subsidiaries imposed their own charge of €9.50 or £8 on GDS bookings last year.

Air France KLM also introduced a similar GDS surcharge of €11 in April 2018.

ETTSA filed complaints with the European Commission in 2015 claiming Lufthansa’s charge breached the EU’s Code of Conduct on computerised reservation systems (CRSs).

But the commission eventually dismissed these complaints in May 2018 when it stated the Code of Conduct “no longer reflects market reality and that it may be revised in the future”.

Christoph Klenner, ETTSA’s secretary general, said in a statement:

“Our complaint in front of the ombudsman is only a first step. We also call on the services of DG Competition (the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition) to rigorously look into Lufthansa’s practices and those of the other large carriers that have followed its lead and are considering further actions.

” The EU’s regulatory framework does not allow for the sort of discrimination that Lufthansa is using to punish consumers and push its competitors out of the market. The commission should therefore act to protect European consumers.”

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Rob Gill

About the Writer :: Rob Gill

Rob Gill has been writing about the travel industry since 2001 when he joined the features department at Travel Trade Gazette in London, having previously worked for local newspapers in the UK for five years.

He was also city and finance correspondent at TTG before later becoming editor of ABTN (Air & Business Travel News) and then digital editor of Buying Business Travel.

He is now an award-winning freelance journalist writing about the leisure and business travel industries for B2B magazines and websites. He has travelled extensively for both business and pleasure, but is mostly based in London these days.

 

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