28 February 2002
Firms could lose thousands of pounds a year after British Airways said it was cutting down on short-haul booking fees paid to business travel agents.
From 1 June, BA will reduce the fee paid to agents from £6 to £2.50 per flight for non-full fare domestic and European flights.
For full-fare flights, the fee drops from £11 to £5. Long-haul fees remain unchanged.
The announcement is part of a plan to save £650 million by March 2004.
Business travel agents are normally paid for their services by their corporate clients and any fees paid to them by airlines are passed back to their clients in some form, said Kevin Watts, global contracts manager at the British Council.
"The council has several thousand short-haul flights a year, so the cost to us will be substantial," said Watts, who is also chairman of the Institute of Travel Management's business travel liaison group, a forum for best practice and benchmarking.
"Travel buyers should ask their agents now what the loss in fees will mean to the travel budget's revenue line."