Agents encouraged to move to Emirates Gateway, GDS surcharge kicks in July 1


DUBAI — Emirates has doubled-down on its commitment to the travel agent community by announcing new content and services on its NDC-enabled direct platform.

Starting July 1, 2021, Emirates Gateway will feature the following:

  • Access to differentiated ticket pricing such as dedicated promotional fares and pre-sales
  • Ability to sell excess baggage, enabling enhanced customer experience
  • Access to rich content
  • Differentiated pricing for select ancillary services
  • Faster access to new ancillary products

A surcharge on all bookings made via GDS will also kick in on the same day.

Agencies not signed up for Emirates Gateway can continue to access Emirates’ EDIFACT – legacy content through the airline’s GDS partners Amadeus, Travelport, Travelsky, Infini and Sirena. However, to mitigate the higher cost Emirates incurs through GDS distribution, from July 1, 2021 bookings made via GDS will incur a distribution surcharge ranging between US$14 and $25 per ticket depending on sector length.

Emirates is working closely with trade partners to bring them onboard Emirates Gateway, which provides access to the widest range of Emirates fare products, including exclusive content not available with indirect channels and where bookings will not incur a Distribution Surcharge.

“Our goal is to empower our trade partners to deliver even better customer experiences and we are pleased to introduce the next batch of new exclusive features and benefits for them on Emirates Gateway, which was launched to address the limitations of current legacy systems and provide a wide range of additional content and options for agents,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer. “Emirates firmly believes in healthy, long-term relationships with all players in the travel ecosystem, and we will continue to work hard to nurture the relationships that we’ve built through the years by providing great value and service.”

Emirates Gateway content can be access through three access solutions:

  • Emirates Booking Portal: A user-friendly web booking portal available in 16 languages, connected directly to Emirates’ reservation systems that simplifies the booking, ticketing and post-ticketing servicing of Emirates orders
  • Emirates Gateway Direct: This option provides access to Emirates content through IATA standard NDC APIs, allowing trade partners to build applications that meet their needs
  • Emirates Gateway Sync: A facilitated link to Emirates products and services provided by IATA-registered and Emirates-certified technology partners

For more information about Emirates Gateway, agents can visit the Emirates Partners Portal at or contact the Emirates sales team.

Numerous airlines have brought in GDS surcharges over the years. Lufthansa Group got the ball rolling back in 2015 when it announced a 16 euro surcharge for every GDS booking, a decision that was roundly criticized at the time by GDSs and agent groups including ACTA. 

It was more of a move to push back against GDS fees than to alienate travel agents, though it didn’t come across that way at first.

In the intervening years more airlines have come onboard with charging GDS fees, including British Airways, Iberia and Air France – KLM.