It’s tough when all of your competitors do something that will lose money…then you’ve gotta do the same thing or look bad. That’s what Expedia said this week when they threw in the towel, joining Orbitz and Priceline by doing away–permenently–with their airfare booking fees.
It was a sad goodbye to a big money maker, between $7-12 per flight. Multiply that times thousands of tickets a day and you’re talking real money. But the problem was that so many savvy flyers just browse for the fares at the “OTA” (online travel agency) and then jump over to AA.com or Delta.com to actually make the purchase.
Now the fares the travelers see on Orbitz, Expedia and Priceline will match the fares they can find on airline websites. These agencies are hoping they can retain more customers for the lucrative add ons like airport parking, car rentals, and hotels. So far Expedia and other say that doing away with the annoying booking fees has helped increase their airline ticket sales.
In other Expedia news, the company announced that they will eliminate the change-and-cancel fees on hotel, car rental and cruise reservations.