Who moved the cheese of the ticket agent?

[May Point Network] In recent years, Air France, which has been plagued by the domestic strikes, has faced a sudden “strike tide” in distant China. Only this "strike" is regarded as aviation public...

[May Point Network] In recent years, Air France, which has been plagued by the domestic strikes, has faced a sudden “strike tide” in distant China. Only this "strike" is the ticket agent who is regarded as an important distribution channel for airlines. On the afternoon of April 1, the main air transport sales agents in Beijing jointly held a press conference to protest against the implementation of the “zero commission policy” for Air France KLM. A person from the Beijing Air Transport Sales Agents Association said that France and the Netherlands unilaterally forcibly canceled the agency fee and required the agent to charge the service fee to the consumers, which would bring many problems to the current regulated sales agent market and consumers. Difficulties will also seriously infringe on the interests of consumers.

At the beginning of March 2010, Air France KLM informed the ticket agents all over the country by verbal and electronic text: starting from April 1, 2010, France and KLM will implement a zero agency fee and require agents to use the future according to different situations. The ticket will levy a service fee of 50 yuan to 700 yuan to the consumer. This move was strongly opposed by people in the industry in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and other places. At this press conference, Beijing's major ticket agent joint initiative agents began to "sell" Air France KLM tickets on April 1, and online travel distributors Ctrip.com and eLong.com also participated in the joint initiative. As of the time of publication, the reporter has not found the flight information of Air France KLM on Ctrip and eLong.

In the face of “zero commission”, does the agent “sell” or “transform”?

Previously, Air France KLM had twice reduced the proportion of agent commissions: after 5% from 7% in August 2007, 5% was again adjusted to 3% on April 1, 2009. Today, Air France has become the first "crab-eater" of international airlines in China, bringing its "zero agency fee", which has been difficult to implement in the world for many years, to China. Of course, the "zero agency fee" is not a "zero" in the full sense. Air France KLM cancels the agency fee at the time of ticketing. The monthly and quarterly rewards will continue to be implemented.

The airline no longer pays commissions for every ticket sold by the ticket agent, only for monthly, quarterly or annual awards, which is a very early distribution model abroad. The realization of foreign agent income is generally that the agent collects the service fee from the customer, such as the Hong Kong market, to book a ticket, and charge the customer a service fee of 50-100 Hong Kong dollars; in China, China Travel Express, etc. It is also the first to return the commission to the customer, and then on the basis of the net price, add a service fee ranging from 30 yuan to 300 yuan.

Zhou Yinghui, Air France's public relations manager, said in an interview that “zero commission is a global trend that was implemented in the US, Europe and Singapore as early as 10 years ago and proved to be a sustainable policy. Recently, other Asian countries Including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the zero commission policy has also been implemented."

"The zero agency fee will be inevitable, and the agent's transition to service is the trend of the times." Huang Maochun, general manager of the international air ticket network, said. Compared with Ctrip, eLong and other distributors, the “selling” has a greater impact on “flying together” with international air tickets as its core business. “Together with the international air ticket network, it has gradually transformed into a transformational service enterprise as early as last year. In the future, it will also launch more value-added services and increase the marketing of combined travel products. These measures are also to cater to the market of aviation agency industry. Changes made in the development of the situation."

Mango.com, the same online travel giant in China, did not participate in the joint action of “selling”. Zhou Lin, general manager of Mango's ticket business department, said, “Because of changes in the airline's sales commission payment model, it will bring new changes to the entire ticket agency industry. Only by adapting to changes and strengthening the advantages of the entire process can we win customer recognition. ". "This kind of change is a good point from a certain point of view. It will speed up the distribution of air tickets to the online concentration and concentrate on the big agents. Of course, it also prompts us to do two things: First, you must be big enough to get back. Reward; first, be strong enough to catch customers."

However, the cancellation of commissions to agents will in turn require agents to charge service fees to consumers. Is this model applicable in China?

According to Article 2 of the “Notice on Changing the Management Method of Domestic Air Transport Sales Agent Fees” promulgated by the Civil Aviation Administration on May 11, 2008, “No form of blind sale is strictly prohibited, and no additional services may be provided to passengers or cargo owners. "Fees", "Extra-addition of service fees to sales agents, the price department will investigate and deal with according to the "Price Law" and other laws and regulations." Air France KLM cancels the agency fee, requiring agents to collect services from consumers according to different situations. The fee, the first thing encountered is the regulatory problem.

At the same time, the particularity of the Chinese market and the differences in consumer habits are also issues that any international company has to consider carefully when formulating its Chinese market strategy. Xu Wei, vice president of Beijing Golden Century, said, “In China, the international air ticket agency channel is virtually irreplaceable. The professional nature and complex and diverse selection possibilities of international air tickets make it difficult for general business travel customers to completely solve their planning and booking problems. This process requires meticulous professional service tools, processes and professionals. In China, because the tradition of service charges and the law do not exist, it is reasonable and beneficial for the supplier of the product to pay a certain fee for the expansion of the product. In fact, It is a win-win situation."

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