European tour operator TUI begins to charge clients a referral fee. Its size will be proportional to the cost of the tours that tourists have purchased on the recommendations of agencies, informs Bild.
The new levy will take effect on 17 May and will charge clients consulted with TUI travel agencies as a “flat rate service charge”. It will be 15 euros for tours costing up to 499 euros. After exceeding this threshold, the referral fee will increase to 39 euros. In addition, the price will be even higher if the traveler wants to check in additional baggage and other additional services.
It has not yet been specified how tour operators will track which of the tourists came for consultations at travel agencies.
TUI was not the first operator to introduce this practice. Specifically, the tour operator DER Touristik introduced consultation fees at partner agencies in November 2020, Bild reports. Now the cost of such a service is 15 euros for tours costing up to 500 euros, and depending on the special wishes of clients, this amount can go up to 49 euros.
At the same time, such steps by the TO have caused outrage from lawyers and consumer advocates. The latter stated that it was unacceptable to introduce fees for advice, which are the responsibility of the agencies. According to them, travel agencies already receive a commission for the implementation of the package tour to the client.
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