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American Express GBT announces surcharge deal with Air France KLM

American Express GBT reaches agreement with Air France KLM to avoid global distribution systems surcharges
09/04/2018

Pictured: Michael Qualantone, executive vice president, global supplier relations for GBT revealed how American Express GBT customers will avoid airlines' surcharge on participating distributors

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has reached an agreement with Air France KLM to avoid global distribution systems (GDS) surcharges.


 


The agreement enables GBT customers to bypass a surcharge on air fares through participating global distribution systems (GDSs), while maintaining access to content.


 


In November 2017, Air France KLM announced that from April 1 2018, bookings made through indirect channels, such as GDSs and online booking tools (OBTs), would be charged an 11€ (£9.64) fee.


 


Recognising the importance of GBT and its customers to its business, Air France KLM has agreed to exempt GBT from the surcharge and to continue providing consolidated and transparent content access.  The agreement is subject to the GDSs entering private channel arrangements with Air France KLM. Of the three main GDSs, two have reached agreements with Air France KLM while the other remains in active dialogue.


 


Michael Qualantone, executive vice president, global supplier relations for GBT, said: “Our customers want simple, aggregated and transparent access to air content.  We seek key strategic partners who recognise this and will work with us to give customers the booking access and experience they deserve.


 


“We are advocating collaboration among airline and distribution partners to deliver the most comprehensive access to air content, the best pricing and shopping environment, within the robust servicing provided by the GDSs.”


 


Pieter Bootsma, EVP commercial strategy for Air France KLM, added: “We fully recognise the value that the business travel segment, including all servicing and distribution partners, brings to our business. This agreement will continue the strategic relationship we have with GBT as we look to jointly provide corporate customers with the highest levels of customer experience and cost-efficiency.”


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