A straw poll of airline chiefs meeting in Miami for IATA’s 71st annual meeting showed that fully 96% of them thought that charging customers for GDS bookings via retailers is a good idea.
The poll, which did not identify respondents, was conducted during a CEO panel discussion moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest.
Defending Lufthansa’s decision to impose a charge in order to drive bookings via its own web site, Karsten Spohr declared, “There have been too many people making money from us while we’re not making enough.”
Christoph Mueller of Malaysia Airlines, said, “I think it’s a fabulous idea. It allows the customer to choose the right distribution channel according to cost.”
And Spohr told fellow CEOs that the opposition to the charge is not coming from consumers but from “elsewhere” — an obvious allusion to the furious response from GDSs and agency groups.