Travel Buyers Show Strong Support For Current Distribution System
On September 1, the Lufthansa Group implemented a €16 per booking surcharge on travel purchased anywhere other than its websites, service centers and airport ticket counters. This morning we issued the findings from a new global survey conducted by GBTA and its European partner network showing 42 percent of travel buyers surveyed have decreased bookings with Lufthansa since it implemented this surcharge.
Additionally, 93 percent of those surveyed are currently not considering the option to book directly on Lufthansa’s site and 39 percent are seeking alternative carriers. Only 2 percent of travel buyers surveyed said that they would book directly with Lufthansa to avoid the €16 fee.
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.
As the voice of the business travel industry and the corporate travel buyer, GBTA believes that the surcharge is a direct price increase to managed travel programs with no corresponding benefit. It could also ultimately lead to decreased price transparency if carried out by not only Lufthansa, but other airlines in the industry.
*GBTA’s survey of global traveler buyers was conducted online between October 14 and 19. In total 434 travel buyers representing an estimated $44B in global buying power participated in the survey.*