Online Travel Sites Ditching Booking Fees to Lure Back Customers
If you've ever booked a flight through a site like Expedia or Orbitz, you're used to the unavoidable booking fees that get tacked on to the cost of your airline ticket. But everyone is hurting in this economy, including bargain-hunting, online travel agencies. According to Reuters, sites like Travelocity are attempting to lure back customers (who are cutting back on business and leisure travel) by waiving their booking fees.
Orbitz announced Monday that it was dropping booking fees permanently, while Expedia and Travelocity are extending their promotional fee waivers. These three sites now join Priceline, which hasn't charged booking fees on plane tickets since 2007.
Some are skeptical of how long the online agencies can survive without charging the fees, though. Warren Miller, an analyst with Morningstar (a market research firm), told Reuters that the companies make roughly 15-percent of their total booking profits from such fees.
If you weren't planning an immediate trip anyway, then don't rush out and grab your tickets to Dublin or Chicago now. That said, your chance to save an extra $20 or more per ticket may not last forever. [From: Reuters]