TA's fight back - fuel surcharges

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Dave Noble

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Ooh . I hope so. There is a nice bit in that article

"Travel agents are also claiming airlines are breaching the Trade Practices Act by forcing them to record fuel surcharges as a tax rather than as part of the fare."

If they win on this, it could be v v good

Dave
 

GDSman

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I certainly wish them a lot of luck but I suspect they will have a hard time winning this one. AFTA is increasingly compliant with every move QF makes and not having Flight Centre as a part of the action diminishes its impact. But, it is interesting timing and certainly adds to the pressure on Dixon and Borghetti.
 

Mal

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Oooh - This is definately nice :)

""Fuel surcharges have been used by airlines to disguise airfare increases for a long time," he said."

Oh, so true.

For once I fully support the travel agents in this case. Best of luck. Go get 'em :)
 

Standby

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When I buy a fare I look at the total cost I pay...and when I do it myself I do it online..How the airline calc the total fare is up to them, I will chose an airline on total cost/product and benifits not who charges what portion of their fare for this security charge or that passenger handling fee. I dont care ,I'm not missing out on any commision for dubious levels of service.
And as for the challenge does this mean I can expect to see AFTA etc come out and say "If the airlines pay commissions on Fuel surcharges we will lower our ever increasing 'Service fees' we charge you to make a booking thru our agency"....Hmmm I'm not holding my breath on that one.
 

browski

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Standby said:
When I buy a fare I look at the total cost I pay...and when I do it myself I do it online..How the airline calc the total fare is up to them

Ah...... no, its not up to them. That's the point of the class action.
 
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vozzie

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Standby said:
"If the airlines pay commissions on Fuel surcharges we will lower our ever increasing 'Service fees' we charge you to make a booking thru our agency"....Hmmm I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Do you expect TAs to provide a free service?
How else are they to stay in business, when they are being paid minimal or no commission on airfares, except by charging a service fee.

I know from experience that out of a recent custom prepared $20,000 overseas holiday, my Agent was entitled to receive commission on about $7000 of that. The remainder was non-commissionable.
 

Mal

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Flight Centre has now dropped out of this Class Action citing "commercial considerations". Hmmm, wonder what they are ;)

Flight Centre pulls plug on class action against airlines | The Courier-Mail

TRAVEL retailer Flight Centre has pulled out of an $80 million class action against six international airlines, including Qantas, over the alleged underpayment of commission fees.
Managing director Graham Turner said the decision was motivated by "commercial considerations''.

Law firm Slater & Gordon launched the action on behalf of travel agents 14 months ago in an attempt to recover commission on fuel surcharges.
 

Mal

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Latest news seems to be that quite a few Travel Agents have pulled out of the Class Action.

Travel agents agree to ditch Qantas class action | The Australian

A NUMBER of travel agents have signed contracts with Qantas in which they have agreed to pull out of or never be involved in future legal action relating to an $80 million class action.

Qantas said yesterday it would not discuss its commercial contracts and denied it had tried to force travel agents to opt out of the case, which has been brought against Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air NZ, Malaysian Airlines and Cathay Pacific, over their practice of not paying agents commission on fuel surcharges.

The airlines label the fuel surcharge a "tax" but the law firm running the case, Slater & Gordon, says this is misleading as the cost of fuel is part of an airline's operating costs and is not a government tax.

Flight Centre is the latest travel agency to withdraw from the class action, although managing director Graham Turner said yesterday he believed the consumer watchdog should take further action.
 

simongr

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Given the captive market I wonder how much business QF would lose if they didnt sell through TAs...
 

GDSman

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An interesting situation. QF have now bought Jetset Travelworld but at the same time continue to marginalise the agency channel...time will tell.
 
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