< PrevNext > Mike Qualantone, Amex GBT global supplier relations EVP The Efficiency Enforcer By Jay Boehmer / December 20, 2016 / Contact Reporter Share American Express Global Business Travel in September enacted a $10 surcharge to process "high cost" airline transactions. It's a descriptor Frontier Airlines, Ryanair, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines would disclaim. Yet, those airlines and other so-called low-cost carriers have become more costly for Amex GBT clients to transact. "Leisure-type airlines" are getting more into corporate travel but with a less integrated, efficient and effective distribution process, Qualantone said, adding that Amex GBT can't keep subsidizing those costs.The fee applies to carriers that defy industry standards: those that participate at a lower level in global distribution systems, those that don't file fares through the Airline Tariff Publishing Co. or those that do not settle agency transactions through ARC or non-U.S. Bank Settlement Plans. We shouldn't cross-subsidize the efficient, integrated airline reservations and bookings with those that are high cost and less efficient." The additional costs for travel management companies to process and manage such bookings have been around for some time, and others also have passed them on to clients. But Amex GBT's surcharge raises the cost structure for clients that book a significant number of these transactions. It also provides corporate clients a disincentive to book these airlines and calls attention to underlying costs in the distribution chain. In the past, "the majority of the higher costs had been being absorbed within our normal pricing environment," Qualantone said.He acknowledged that some customers are not enjoying conversations about higher costs. As described by Qualantone in October, the rollout is progressive. We've moved forward in certain parts of our business with this, and we're going to continue to move forward as we do this on a global basis."