Lufthansa Group recently announced that on Sept. 1 it would begin adding a €16 surcharge to all tickets booked by travel agents using global distribution systems. The “distributions cost charge” forces corporate customers to make a choice between higher fares and lower service. Lufthansa argues that the rate disparity among booking channels is justified because costs for using GDSs are several times higher than for other booking methods, such as airline’s online portals. The idea of an agency portal is not a new phenomenon. Many airlines have them today, but few bookings go through them. There’s a reason for that. What Lufthansa didn’t mention is that agency portals: - Are not designed to manage high transaction volumes generated by large TMCs. - Do not offer comparison shopping on competing airlines. - Lack technical integration with mid- and back-office systems that let companies keep travelers safe, track expenses and influence in-trip buying decisions. - Cut down travel agent efficiency and productivity, which drives up costs for travel buyers. Get the full story at Business Travel News