London - Credit Suisse global head of corporate travel and
events Bernadette Basterfield this month called on the corporate travel
community to "push back" on airlines that have pushed to them the
cost of card acceptance.
Speaking at the Business Travel Show here on Feb. 5,
Basterfield also criticized such airlines as Ryanair and Wizzair for not
accepting her company's preferred card, American Express. Some airline
companies, including Airberlin, British Airways, Air France-KLM, Finnair and
Lufthansa, in recent years and in certain markets initiated fees for using
cards. EasyJet, for example, charges consumers 2.5 percent of the total
transaction value if they use plastic.
"I get a little sick and tired as a global travel
manager when speaking to an airline who says, 'I don't like these fees, so
you're an easy target and you're going to get them,' " said Basterfield.
"It may be one pound, but one pound over tens of thousands of transactions
amounts to quite a lot. We [corporate travel buyers] have been guilty of
bearing those costs. I feel very strongly that it's time we pushed back on this
and I will continue to do so.
"It's contingent on payment solution companies to
arrive at something that stops this pound-here and pound-there stuff," she
added. "It won't be long before it isn't just on the lower booking
classes. It will be going upwards, not downwards, so we need a solution."
Basterfield also said she is working with American Express
Merchant Services to lobby airlines that do not accept the form of payment to