#Lufthansa Charges Fresh Ticket Fee on Consumers
Yet another tax when flying from September 1, 2015. Lufthansa Group will implement a €16 (£11.50/US$18) DCC charge for all passengers on its flights. This will include associated companies including Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss. DCC stands for ‘Distribution Cost Charge’.
There will be an exception to the DCC fee when individuals book directly on each of the group carriers own websites. Booking Agents have the same benefit if they use the Agent’s Online Portal.
The announcement made by Lufthansa Group earlier in June has been controversial. Many in the travel industry have declared the fee as exorbitant. Under the pressure the airline says it is willing to discuss the matter, but made it clear the fee will not be changed and ‘it is too early to predict’ the impact of the fee on decisions to fly with Lufthansa Group airlines or someone to move business elsewhere.
A powerful body in the airline industry is the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA). Its reaction to Lufthansa’s decision ‘as being another hidden cost passed on to the consumer’ and ‘an attempt to make fare transparency and comparison more difficult’.
ECTAA President, Lars Thykier of the DCC fee said, “The new cost charge will increase Lufthansa Group airlines fares in average by more than 5% and will further hinder a fair and transparent access to the airlines fares by the consumers and travel agents”.
The DCC decision by Lufthansa is considered by observers to be purely commercial to boost its own income generation goes against the trend to greater transparency when booking online. Lufthansa acknowledges that the fee is to recover the multi-million costs related to bookings that come via outside revenue generating sources.
Considering that Aegean Airlines and Lufthansa have commercial agreements and code share flights, connecting with Greece, I wonder how long before Aegean will consider such a fee? Aegean is a member of the Star Alliance, of which Lufthansa is one of the key policy makers.