Comair seeks alternative to change-of-booking fee

Johannesburg – Tuesday, 30 June 2009. Comair Limited (Comair), the JSE-listed aviation company which operates British Airways in Southern Africa today announced that it would be withdrawing the current change-of-booking fee on all domestic and regional fares with effect from Wednesday, 1 July 2009 until further notice.

Over the past few weeks Comair have been inundated with calls from travel consultants regarding the complex and time-consuming process of issuing a Virtual Miscellaneous Payment Document (VMPD) for every change of booking.

Stuart Cochrane, Comair’s Executive Manager: Sales & Route Development says that, “we have been in consultation with various parties including our principal British Airways, however, discussions to date have not yielded a suitable alternative and we have made the decision to withdraw this fee until such time we can provide our trade partners with a simpler process. We are committed to making it as easy as possible for travel consultants to book and service their customers and will continue to seek the best solution.”

The possible use of the DU tax box, as done by Comair’s competitors, has been ruled out as an option and could be viewed as illegal. This was decided after advice from British Airways through their discussions with IATA who have advised that they will not approve a tax code purely for a change-of-booking fee.

“We are working closely with the GDSs to roll out a solution as soon as possible,” assures Cochrane.