The competition commission's intervention in the marathon dispute between travel agents and international airlines has worked in the agents' favour but you could still be paying more for the air ticket.
Responding to the competition commission, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday maintained its stand that travel agents cannot charge a ‘transaction fee' from passengers because airlines refuse to pay them commission on ticket sales.
The move does not solve the dispute because the regulator refused to fix quantum of commission that airlines have to pay travel agents.
"The DGCA passed the same directive in April acting on a Kerala High Court order but the stand off continues because airlines have been ignoring meetings with travel agents," said a member of Air Passenger Association of India, a passenger body. Travel agents who sell 85 per cent of air tickets in India are charging anything from three per cent to nine per cent of the ticket price as 'service fee' in the wake of the deadlock.
"This is a huge shot in the arm to our ongoing efforts to reinstate commission for our members. We have complete faith that the Competition Commission of India," said Rajji Rai, president, Travel Agents Association of India.
The dispute over commission began last in 2008 when airlines passed a 'zero commission' policy and asked agent to get their remuneration from passengers in form of transaction fee.