09 January 2011

Is Travelport's AA Internationa Fare Surcharge Legal?

After the fight started between Travelport and AA - Travelport escalated the game by automatically adding the surcharge to each AA based ticket.

Is this legal?

As a quick recap.

Travelport as a response to AA's action to terminate the agreement between AA and Orbitz website in the USA - decided to impose a surcharge over the traditional segment booking fee.

AA determined that they would then charge this WHOLE amount - not just the surcharge to AA as a charge to the agent and collect it via an Agent Debit Memo

Travelport then unilaterally imposed the whole amount and put it into the pricing enging of its GDS companies. Thus the AA fare shows a surcharge automatically even though the ticket price does not.

As I understand the agreements there may be a legal issue here.

1. Travelport as a GDS is NOT supposed to mess with the fare levels other than using its engine to create the price. It cannot impose surcharges other than what has been approved by the airline

2. Travelport may be in breach of its agreement with ATPCo for modifying the price.

If both these conditions are correct then I think technically AA could collect an ADM from the GDS for miscalculating the fares.

That's an interesting point.


1 comment:

Andrew Shepp said...

When an airline "terminates is contract" with an ARC travel agent, they "pull their plates", right? Do not a lot of airlines -- especially newer ones -- permit their tickets to be issued by a different validating carrier than themselves? Maybe AA's plates, even though it is not a joint fare?

What else could go wrong?

Just wait.