American Express clients will not have to pay a surcharge on
British Airways and Iberia bookings.
Starting Nov. 1, the IAG-owned airlines are levying a $10
booking charge on GDS bookings. But customers of American Express Travel &
Lifestyle Services, American Express Global Business Travel and select business
travel franchise partners won't have to pay it because American Express GBT has
agreed to work with the airlines on future GDS distribution, evaluating how
IATA's New Distribution Capability "could bring value to organizations
using managed travel programs."
"We continue to believe the GDS channel provides the
best value to our clients and travelers, as it has the most comprehensive
access to supplier content, the best pricing and shopping environment, and most
cost-effective booking process," said Michael Qualantone, American Express
GBT's executive vice president of global supplier relations. "However, if
there are valuable products that the GDSs can't currently make available, it is
important to explore alternative technology capabilities."
The deal is contingent on GDS companies' approval. Amadeus
has agreed so far, American Express GBT said.