Fliers don’t have to pay commission to Travel agents
Air passengers will not have to pay a commission for booking tickets through travel agents. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has rejected the demand made by private airlines that travel agents be allowed to recover a transaction fee from clients bookings tickets.mumbai Updated: Mar 13, 2010 02:17 IST
Air passengers will not have to pay a commission for booking tickets through travel agents.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has rejected the demand made by private airlines that travel agents be allowed to recover a transaction fee from clients bookings tickets.
“An unscrupulous agent can charge an exorbitant amount as transaction fee from the customer,” the DGCA directive stated.
The DGCA’s directive, issued on March 5, is crucial as in India nearly 80 per cent air tickets are booked through travel agents.
Since December 2008, airlines had stopped paying commission to travel agents and proposed that they charge a ‘transaction fee’ from the passengers.
Currently, 13 international carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways don’t pay commission. Domestic carriers settled for 3 per cent from the earlier 5 per cent commission.
“We are pleased with the DGCA stand to rule out ‘zero commission’ because it benefits our customers,” said
Rajji Rai, president of the Travel Agents’ Association of India.
The decision brought relief to 50,000 travel agents who were on the verge of shutting shop if zero commission came into effect. The DGCA has stated that the travel agents and airlines should decide the quantum of the commission mutually.
Last year, travel agents moved the Kerala High Court after negotiations with airlines failed.
“We send them roses, samosas and jalebis but it did not work,” said a member from the Travel Agents’ Federation of India.
The DGCA has set up a dedicated team to monitor airlines’ adherence to the directive.
Also, acting on rising number of complaints against airlines publishing misleading fares, the regulator recently amended Rule 135 of the Aircraft Act, making it mandatory to publish a fare break-up.