The ECTAA group has filed a formal complaint against Lufthansa with the EU Commission. ECTAA is a group of national travel agents’ and tour operators’ associations within the European Union. It represents 27 EU member states of 2 EU accession countries, as well Switzerland and Norway.
This is happening because of the announcement that the Lufthansa Group will apply a 16 euro charge for all the tickets booked via GDSs on Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, and Swiss Airlines flights.
After a careful analysis of the alternative distribution channels proposed by Lufthansa, including the individual airlines’ websites or the LH Group-Agent platform, ECTAA and its member associations reached the conclusion that these were not efficient and viable alternatives, as they would constitute a considerable step backwards to the currently highly-automated booking and ticketing processes through GDSs.
Following a detailed legal analysis of the Lufthansa announcement, ECTAA has decided to file a complaint with the European Commission Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport as Lufthansa’s action constitutes a breach of the EU Regulation N° 80/2009 on a Code of Conduct for GDSs, in particular in what concerns the provisions of the articles 10.4 and 10.5 of the Regulation. Indeed, if the Lufthansa’s Agent booking platform falls within the definition of a GDS as defined in article 2.4 of the Regulation, Lufthansa as a “parent carrier” must comply with parent carrier’s obligations as specified in articles 10.4 and 10.5.
It will be now up to the European Commission to decide whether the proposed booking alternative, the LH Group-Agent.com platform, falls under the application of the EU Regulation N° 80/2009 and whether Lufthansa complies with its legal obligations.