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Amex GBT now exempt from Air France KLM’s GDS surcharge

LONDON — American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has reached an agreement with Air France KLM that will allow customers to bypass a surcharge on airfares through participating GDSs.

In November 2017, Air France KLM announced that effective April 1, 2018, bookings made through indirect channels such as GDSs and online booking tools (OBTs) would be charged an €11 (Can$17.10) fee.

Since then, and after recognizing the value of GBT and its customers, the airline group has agreed to exempt GBT from this surcharge and continue providing consolidated and transparent content access.

The agreement is subject to the GDSs entering private channel arrangements with Air France KLM. Of the three main GDSs, two have reached agreements with Air France KLM while the other remains in active dialogue.

“Our customers want simple, aggregated and transparent access to air content,” said Michael Qualantone, Executive Vice President, Global Supplier Relations for GBT. “We seek key strategic partners who recognize this and will work with us to give customers the booking access and experience they deserve.”

Pieter Bootsma, EVP Commercial Strategy for Air France KLM, added: “We fully recognize the value that the business travel segment, including all servicing and distribution partners, brings to our business. This agreement will continue the strategic relationship we have with GBT as we look to jointly provide corporate customers with the highest levels of customer experience and cost efficiency.”

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