In a whirlwind of competition between online travel agencies, Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity have all dropped their booking fees. That’s right: no booking fees.
Through May 31, 2009, that is.
The big three online travel agencies have decided to “temporarily” drop their booking fees.
Some exceptions apply, so read the terms carefully. This includes Orbitz still imposing fees for multi-carrier itineraries (e.g. a Northwest flight connecting to American Airlines flight).
The biggest difference between the services? Orbitz offers Price Assurance (we discussed here) as does Priceline (they call it Pricedrop protection).
I always purchase tickets directly through the airline, with the exception of using multi-carrier itineraries which I book through Orbitz. I encourage everyone else to also book directly with the carrier as, when in a pickle with a cancelled flight, I have found air carrier reps to generally be more helpful than online travel agencies’ customer service reps.
So, enjoy the fact that there are no booking fees, even if it’s only temporary at Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire, and Priceline.
What do you think — will the agencies bring back fees in June? Or will they remain with no booking fees for the foreseeable future?