Buyer Tries To Rally Colleagues On Airlines' Form-Of-Payment Fees - Business Travel News

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Buyer Tries To Rally Colleagues On Airlines' Form-Of-Payment Fees

February 21, 2013 - 09:15 AM ET

By Jay Campbell

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 do so.

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