Brazil Spared Lufthansa Surcharge As Collection Method Changes

Lufthansa notified agencies that it will use a different method than previously planned to levy its €16 global distribution system surcharge. The seemingly minor technical detail has prompted the airline group to delay the surcharge in the Brazilian market, citing "unclear" legal implications.

Lufthansa previously planned to file its surcharge using the OB code in ATPCO fare filings, which designates "ticketing fees," but now will use the YQ/YR category, often used for fuel surcharges and other "carrier-imposed fees."

"As not all of the GDSs are able to implement the [Distribution Cost Charge] using an OB fee by 1 September, the DCC will be replaced by a YR-IATA tax code until the GDSs are fully capable of displaying the OB fee," according to Lufthansa's notice to travel agencies.

Lufthansa still plans to use the OB standard when GDSs are capable, but it has not committed to a timeline.

Until it does, the airline group confirmed an impact at the Brazilian point of sale.

"While collecting the DCC using an OB fee, as it was planned, would have been possible in Brazil, implementing a YR-IATA tax code remains legally unclear," according to a Lufthansa spokesperson. "For this reason the implementation of the DCC will be delayed in the Brazilian market until further notice."

The Sept. 1 enactment date for its surcharge is "on schedule" in all other markets.