FLIGHT booking fees – now eliminated at Zuji and Expedia – appear to be a sensitive topic at Webjet, which charges up to $49.90 in fees to process international airline bookings ($29.95 processing fee, $19.95 price guarantee), and $29.90 for domestic airfares ($19.95 processing fee, $9.95 price guarantee).
Lawyer Paul Zawa from Minter Ellison got in touch with TravelTrends.biz on behalf of Webjet with a six-page Letter of Demand in relation to coverage on this site and elsewhere. Long story short, I responded with a series of questions which Webjet refused to answer. Several concerned Webjet’s “Price Guarantee” which it appears to have introduced for airline bookings in 2005.
The “Price Guarantee” was initially $1 per sector but has since risen to a flat $9.95 – an increase of 995% in four or five years – and now applies to “any hotel, car rental or insurance product booked at the same time” as an airfare. In 2005, Webjet also charged a $6.95 “service fee” for flight bookings. This "processing fee" now costs at least $19.95 – an increase of almost 300% . Questions included:
What is the justification for charging significantly higher fees on international flights as opposed to domestic flights?
Please clarify that international airlines pay Online Travel Agents a commission for selling their product while domestic carriers do not.
(CEO) David Clarke recently told Travel Today that Webjet’s booking fees will rise not fall. Please elaborate.
What percentage of Webjet’s turnover is generated by booking fees?
How much money was generated last financial year by the seat price guarantee?
Webjet lawyer Paul Zawa responded: “We are not the spokespersons for our clients. However, we have forwarded your questions to Webjet. We are instructed that Webjet does not intend to respond.”