As of 1st September 2015, the Lufthansa Group airlines will include a surcharge, the ‘Distribution Cost Charge’ (DCC), of €16 for every ticket issued by a booking channel using GDS. The new charge will not be added to flight tickets purchased using own-booking channels. This predominately includes the airlines’ websites (www.lh.com, www.swiss.com, www.austrian.com, www.brusselsairlines.com), as well as the service centre and ticket counters at airports.
Travel agencies will also be able to book tickets without the DCC using the online portal at www.lhgroup-agent.com. Furthermore, corporate customers will be able to book their individually negotiated contract rates excluding the DCC at www.lh.com. Customers of Lufthansa Group airlines can count on continued fare transparency: the display of the ticket will always show the final fare.
Innovative ancillary services and enhanced price options require suitable sales technology. The technology of Lufthansa’s existing sales systems cannot adequately display the individual offers, with their variety of product components. The Lufthansa Group’s airlines are, therefore, in the process of developing a new booking method to enable sales partners to connect to their IT systems directly based on the new IATA data standard NDC (New Distribution Capability). The first NDC pilot project is currently being tested at Swiss and should begin at Lufthansa during the course of this year.
Jens Bischof, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “At present, airlines are not yet able to market their services via all sales channels, as is common in other industries. The contracts and structures have previously prevented any deregulation in many areas. We want to change this with our new commercial strategy and take advantage of greater degrees of freedom in our sales activities, providing our customers with the exact tailor-made services that they are looking for and wherever they are looking for them.”