The Brazil market won't be subject to Lufthansa Group’s
controversial 16 euro charge on GDS bookings when the fee goes into effect on
The Lufthansa Group still intends to implement the fee in
Brazil, but the delay will be in effect until further notice, company spokeswoman
Claudia Lange wrote in an email to Travel Weekly on Tuesday.
The booking fee, which amounts to slightly under $18 at the
current euro-to-dollar exchange rate, has fanned protests from travel agencies
in the U.S. and Europe due to concerns that it will reduce their efficiency and
worries that other airlines could follow suit.
Customers who directly book with Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa,
Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines) won't
be subject to the fee.
A technical complication is the reason that Lufthansa isn’t implementing
the distribution cost charge in Brazil on Sept. 1. The problem, Lange
explained, is that Lufthansa planned to collect the surcharge by designating it
as an “OB” ticketing fee in the GDS systems. However, not all GDS systems are
capable of implementing the charge under the OB code, she said.
As a result, Lufthansa decided to collect the distribution
cost charge by labeling it as “YR” fee code, which airlines can use for fuel
surcharges, terminal fees and even “miscellaneous” charges according to an
ATPCO primer. In Brazil, however, it's not clear whether the distribution
charge can legally be billed under the YR code, Lange said.
Lufthansa plans to collect the distribution charge using the
OB code once it has been “fully implemented by all GDSs,” she said.