American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has reached an agreement with British Airways and Iberia that will allow companies to avoid paying a surcharge on bookings made through the Amadeus GDS.
From November 1, the two airlines will implement an £8 fee for bookings made through indirect channels, including GDSs and online booking tools (OBTs). However, American Express GBT has agreed a multi-year deal with the carriers whereby its clients can avoid the surcharge.
The agreement currently applies to all bookings made through the Amadeus GDS, although American Express GBT says BA and Iberia are both in negotiations with the other GDSs to offer the same benefit. The deal applies to reservations made via American Express Travel & Lifestyle Services and through a select number of American Express GBT franchise partners.
In addition, American Express GBT says it will work with BA, Iberia and the GDSs to determine how new distribution capabilities (NDC) could bring value to organisations using managed travel programmes.
Michael Qualantone, executive VP of Global Supplier Relations at American Express GBT, said: “We continue to believe the GDS channel provides the best value to our clients and travellers, as it has the most comprehensive access to supplier content, the best pricing and shopping environment, and most cost-effective booking process. However, if there are valuable products that the GDSs can’t currently make available, it is important to explore alternative technology capabilities.”