The war between the airlines and the agencies is as follows: Air France-KLM instructed Chinese ticket agencies to practice the zero commission policy from April 1. The move follows the reduction of its commission for the agencies from 7% to 3% over the past two years.
Air France-KLM advised the agencies to claim a service fee from customers of between 50 yuan ($7.30) to 700 yuan ($103), as in other countries.
Note the passengers still pays the same. The row is about who collects the fees. A manager at ctrip.com told the Beijing Daily that Air France-KLM’s zero commission policy has not received any government approval and to impose the service fees to the consumers is, as a result, illegal in China.
Air France-KLM Group claimed that the zero commission policy had started in the US, Europe and Singapore about 10 years ago and that it is set to become a global trend. Perhaps. But it could be introduced more tactfully even though the company added that it would continue to give annual and monthly rewards to the agencies if the ticket sales reach a certain amount.
Unlike in other countries, about 70% of the income of China’s ticket agencies is from ticket commissions from airline companies.
Global Times reported the Secretary-General of the China Air Transportation Association Wei Zhenzhong said the association will do its best to resolve the dispute by negotiation. All it needs is tact on both sides. In the end the passenger still ends up paying the same for a ticket.