Let the fun begin. The booking fees charged by the Online Travel Agents are now mainstream news. A story on news.com.au attracted plenty of comment yesterday while the Today Show followed up this morning. The issue has been brought into focus by Zuji and Expedia dropping their surcharge on airline bookings. Market leader Webjet, which charges up to $49.90 to process airfare bookings, has gone on the front foot with Managing Director David Clarke saying they are justified and that clients are happy to pay.
But clearly the dynamic has changed. Meanwhile travel.com.au, which has a focus on international flights and charges a $14.95 booking fee, has produced a comparison chart claiming it offers the best prices across a range of specific fares. Flight Centre has said it will examine its fee regime. Nothing like a little diversity, lacking in the OTA space until this point, to shake things up.