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November 30, 2015

Asia: CWT Raises Concern Over Lufthansa's GDS Moves

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is feeling the impact of Lufthansa Group’s GDS 16 euros (US$17) fee which came into effect in September, and also frowns at plans by the airline group for exclusive offers outside of GDSs.

In November, the airline group, which encompasses Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS, also revealed plans to enable direct connect solutions with various industry partners.

Scott Brennan, executive vice president and head of global supplier management at CWT, said there are fundamental issues with these initiatives, due to the following points:

  • Fragmentation of content that creates complex, manual searching and booking.
  • Less comprehensive comparison shopping resulting in reduced visibility of competitive fares.
  • Limitations for TMCs to communicate directly with travelers or to assist with travel changes or during emergencies.
  • Fragmented data for reporting and traveler tracking.
  • Additional cost – even if Lufthansa’s €16 fee is avoided – to bring bookings made directly with Lufthansa back into the managed program and to manage inefficiencies and complexities related to changes, exchanges, refunds, invoicing and reporting.

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