BA signatory letter

 

26 February 2007

Mr. William M. Walsh
Chief Executive Officer
British Airways Plc
Waterside, Harmondsworth, UB7 0GB

Dear Mr. Walsh,

As major British Airways' customers, we are writing to express our profound concern about your airline’s reported intentions to undermine our existing corporate travel procurement process by imposing new surcharges and withholding content from the Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) and the travel management companies and corporations they serve.  This trusted, established channel provides efficiency and global services for our companies. Such negative actions on your part will make it more difficult and expensive for our companies to continue purchasing your product.

You are directly threatening the loss of your most valuable customers by imposing costs already included in the price of our tickets and hampering technology that is critical to the efficient functioning of our modern corporate travel programmes. We urge you to move promptly to conclude your GDS negotiations with your best customers’ concerns top of mind.    

British Airways, with its complex connecting network and global footprint, arguably derives more value from GDSs and travel management company distribution than any other airline in the world. Our companies demand a vast array of pre- and post-trip services your airline website simply cannot accommodate.  In addition, the security and whereabouts of our traveling employees is of utmost importance, necessitating the very services that only a GDS can provide. Today, BA’s easy availability and strong participation in the GDSs gives your airline a decided advantage in securing a premium share of our business.   It is therefore most surprising that you would risk this advantage by reportedly threatening to remove content and shift further cost burdens to us and other important distributors of your services.  

British Airways offers a global product to demanding customers with complex needs. Travel management companies automated with GDSs offer a reasonably priced, indispensable method of efficiently bringing your services to market and enabling our corporate travel programmes to deliver value to our companies and our employees. Our companies will direct future business to airlines that build their distribution programmes around our preferences; as you are aware, we do have a choice in air travel.  As you conclude your current GDS negotiations, we urge you to rededicate British Airways to achieving our mutual success.    

Sincerely,

A I Travel Service, Inc.
ABB Oy
Acergy
Advanced Medical Optics, Inc.
Agere Systems
Agilent Technologies
Air Products
Ambassador Packaging Limited
Bausch Lomb
BEA Systems
Blue Marine Travel
BMS
Bob Martin UK Limited
Boscov's Business Travel
Bureau Veritas
Burger Travel Service
Canadian Professional Sales Association
Cannon Design
Chubb
CIGNA
Colgate-Palmolive Company Hill's Pet Nutrition
Constellation Europe
Convernteam LTD
Cox Enterprises
CSC-Scientific computing Ltd
Cypress Semiconductor
Discount Travel Brokerage Services
Discovery Communications, Inc.
Dollar Tree Stores, Inc
Doughty Hanson
Electricshopping.com Europe
Eli Lilly
Elite Business Travel
EMC Corporation
EMC Europe Ltd
Emergent BioSolutions
Emerson
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
Event Solutions International
Financial Security Assurance
Finnish Business Travel Association FBTA
Flightline Travel Management PLC
Gartner
Goodrich Corporation
Grant Thornton
Greenhill Co LLP
GSDM Advertising
Harman International Industries, Inc.
HealthCare California
Hobson Travel Ltd
Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd
i2 Technologies
ICOS Corporation
Imperial College London
Intermountain Healthcare
International Travel Management
Kendle International
LasVegasConventionTravel.com Inc.
Leggett Platt, Inc.
Liberty Global Europe
Lone Pine Capital Ltd
MBIA Insurance Corp.
McKesson Corporation
Medical and Dental Defense Union of Scotland
Merck Pharmaceuticals
Mercury Interactive
Moody’s Investors Service LTD
Moog Inc.
MTS Travel
Newtown Travel
Omnibus Systems Limited
OneBeacon Insurance
Oracle Corporation
Outokumpu Oyj
Outokumpu Technology Oyj
PAR Travel Tech, Inc.
Parexel
PerkinElmer, Inc.
Philips Electronics
Pöyry Plc
Queen's University
Rautaruukki Corporation
Regal Petroleum plc
Rich Products Corporation
Richemont International Ltd
RMIC Corporation
Safeco Insurance Company of America
Sanoma Corporation
SemperMacro
Serco Group plc
Siemens Osakeyhtiö
Sigma Aldrich
Smith Nephew
Stemcor Holdings Limited
Stephens Inc.
Swedish Business Travel Association
Syngenta Crop Protection AG
Tesco Stores Ltd
Thales Communications, Inc.
The Laryngeal Mask Company Ltd
The TJX Companies, Inc.
The Travel Team, Inc.
The University of Texas at Austin
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Travel by Design of Cape Cod
Travel Time Travel Agency, Inc.
TRW Automotive
University Of Alaska
UT
VMware
VSO
Wartsila Corporation
William Blair Company LLC
WPP Group
Xchanging
XL Services Ltd
Xtra Travel Solutions Ltd