14 February 2008

Currency, Fees - Fees and Taxes UGH!

We used to joke that the most complex market to sell travel products was India and the most numbers in currency on a ticket was Turkey and Poland.

Well chaps - it ain't so easy any more in some of the regular markets.

For GDS users the unbundling of products and adding in of fees is making it more and more difficult to get this right. PLUS the calculations are getting weirder.

To illustrate my point - lets just look at the recently introduced (and effective July 08) Lufthansa OB Fees. So its a 4.90 Euros per segment. Actually that is a TAXABLE charge subject to VAT. Holy cow (or what ever that is in German) how the heck do you calculate that?

With the world moving off the dollar standard and onto other currency standards - the nice stable world of currencies has gone. Now we have Euros and Pounds and Dollars all calculated on a daily basis. And in many cases calculated differently by GDS and private fare engines.

I would hate to have to be the one who has to work on these things.

One word of advice? NOW is the time to start planning your own system instead of just using a GDS on its own. The days of a nice homogeneous and holistic distribution system are long gone. Time to call it a night or the cavalry...

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