Survey claims buyers shunning Lufthansa since advent of distribution charge

New figures from the Global Business Travel Association claim more than two-fifths of travel buyers have decreased bookings with Lufthansa since the airline introduced its Euro 16 charge on September 1.

The airline introduced the Euro 16 Distribution Cost Charge on tickets not purchased directly via its channels – i.e the global distribution systems and other intermediaries.

The survey also shows 93% are not considering the option to book directly on Lufthansa’s site and almost two-fifths (39%) say they are seeking alternative carriers.

A minority – only 2% – of travel buyers said they would book directly with Lufthansa to avoid the charge.

This is not the first time since the fee’s introduction that the distribution community has claimed a decrease in bookings. A report leaked to Tnooz in September showed GDS bookings had also taken a tumble.

Lufthansa said at the time that there was “no significant change of the overall booking situation within the Lufthansa Group (LHG).”

The carrier went on to say that the first weeks of September were “influenced pilots’ strike action as well as other seasonal affects.”

Lufthansa also said it would provide an update with “regular and reliable figures” during its regular financial reporting.

In a strongly worded statement on the travel buyer research, GBTA executive director and chief operating officer Michael McCormick says:

“We believe that the booking surcharge strategy has effectively backfired.

“The resulting actions demonstrate the high value that travel buyers place in the existing distribution network. The efforts by Lufthansa to fragment the distribution system by artificially adding cost is not working.”

GBTA’s survey of global travel buyers was conducted online between October 14 and 19 with the participation of 434 buyers who represent about $44 billion in “global buying power.”

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda is Managing Editor for tnooz. For the past decade, she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine. In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management, and research companies. Prior to her freelance career, she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.



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  1. John Warner

    Wouldn’t the Lufthansa Group be obligated to publish a traffic advisory (as required by stock market rules) if it was actually seeing a drop in advance bookings? (Yes.)

  2. Bill Hopping

    Raising a spectre of fragmented distribution? Deja Vu all over again:

  3. Michael

    I know our agency’s offer regarding Lufthansa for what it is, the highest fare in most markets due to their add on. It is what it is.


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