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GTMC members vote with their feet on Lufthansa’s levy move

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of the GTMC’s member base of the UK’s top Travel Management Companies (TMCs) has declared that they have not, and will not, register for the Lufthansa website in order to avoid a levy applied to third party distributors who book via a GDS.
A further quarter (27 per cent) have registered, but state that it is purely to look at the functionality and capability of the Lufthansa agency portal, and not to use it for bookings.  

Just six per cent of GTMC member businesses have signed up to but will only use the direct channel, bypassing a GDS, if requested to do so by a client.  

The figures come after Lufthansa announced a €16 fee for any bookings made via a GDS. Lufthansa is encouraging TMCs to book via, however the site cannot provide any of the reporting or duty of care functionality required by TMCs.  

Paul Wait, chief executive, the GTMC explains: “Lufthansa has publically claimed that TMCs have been signing up to use their website directly, however the behaviour of GTMC members show that simply isn’t the case. In fact, our member booking activity is testament that the GDS levy isn’t working.  

“The good news for airlines who recognise and support TMCs is that Lufthansa is handing corporate travel bookings to them. The changes from Lufthansa may have been rooted in trying to solve cost challenges for the airline, however they haven’t addressed what corporate customers and business passengers want.”

GTMC members book 80 per cent of expenditure spent on managed travel in the UK. As the voice of business travel, the organisation is focused on highlighting the important role of TMCs in selling, servicing and distributing airline – and other travel provider – products and services.

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