It's been a half-year since the contentious decision of Lufthansa to add a Euro 16 fee to tickets booked through third-party channels, but there seems to be much still to do to win over travel buyers.
A survey this winter of nearly 182 travel buyers found that a high level of uncertainty still exists around the German carrier's move. The survey was done by the London-based Business Travel Show.
To the question “Has Lufthansa done an effective job of working with travel buyers to help them through the transition to its new Distribution Cost Charge?”, merely 9% answered positively, compared with 55% opting for “no” and the rest saying "don't know."
Three-quarters of the respondents were from the UK, the rest from mainland Europe. A majority of the travel buyers said they were responsible for more than 1,000 travelers.
Event director David Chapple commented to Tnooz:
"The feedback regarding the Lufthansa question is indicative of the general arrogance that buyers have accused the NDC brigade of since day one. They have never felt included in the process, and many are frustrated by the increase in costs."
A notable part of the survey results is that they are revealed the same week as a claim by a large corporate travel group that Lufthansa has lost market share due to its strategy, with Lufthansa providing counter-data to deny the accuracy of that claim.
Other unrelated, but interesting, questions from the survey:
Are your travellers booking stays through "sharing economy", or private short-term rental listing platforms?
- Yes - 20%
- No - 60%
- Don't know - 21%
Event director David Chapple commented:
“The feedback regarding the use of sharing economy suppliers mirrors how uncertain buyers feel - they are attracted by the convenience and cost (as are many independent bookers), but they are unsure how these providers fit within their duty of care responsibilities.
The suppliers, however, are very sure about the business travel market and are keen to get buyers onside. Uber, for example, will be at the Business Travel Show for the first time promoting Uber for Business.”
Would you support a corporate programme than actively rewards travellers for staying within budget or policy? .
- Yes - 43%
- No - 31%
- Don't know - 26%
Image courtesy of the Business Travel Show