30 November 2000
Corporate travel buyers can look forward to greater transparency in their spend on travel, as travel agents gear up for the loss of commission from airlines.
Many airlines will be reviewing their commission schemes next year, according to Colin Brain, managing director of Management Solutions UK, a corporate travel management company.
The move is to more easily understood transaction fees across the board, noted Brain, a former chairman of the Association of British Travel Agents. This also means there could be more travel agents willing to book low-cost airlines that do not normally work with travel agents, even though more business people are travelling on them. A transaction fee embedded into the corporate agreement means no commission would be expected from low-cost airlines.
British Airways has already said it will work more closely with travel agents to explain the airline’s new payment scheme due to start next April. GB Airways, a franchise outfit, has said it will also dump commission payments, which comprise 7 per cent of the ticket price.
Traditionally, airline commission fees paid to travel agents have been shared between the agent and the corporate travel buyer.