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Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2023 by Pawanpreet Kaur Leave a Comment
The early days of the pandemic saw many travellers encountering difficulties when attempting to rebook air travel purchased via third-party providers. Overburdened customer service centres and the frequent changes in airline policies created a difficult situation, resulting in many opting to book directly with the airline in order to avoid further complications.
As the pandemic gradually fades, air travel is returning to normal – yet passengers are faced with a different set of challenges. Booking flights directly from airlines has become a complex process, with various fees, add-ons and seat selection options, making it hard to work out the final price – which can be much higher than the advertised cost.
President Biden has become deeply involved in the issue of airline fees, which has become highly problematic. He declared in a press conference announcing a new Department of Transportation initiative to require airlines to disclose fees, “You should be aware of the total cost of your ticket when you compare prices, so you can select the ticket that’s the best value for you.”
Attempts to control airline fees are not unprecedented. The Obama administration attempted to introduce similar regulations, yet was unsuccessful. Until these changes are properly implemented, airline customers will be expected to pay for their purchases, especially if they are done through the airlines’ own websites or apps.
Airlines aim to increase their revenue by encouraging customers to book through their own sites and apps, as they often spend more on ancillary charges. American Airlines recently declared this in a Security and Exchange Commission filing, highlighting the potential risks of depending on third parties such as online travel agencies.
The filing stated that our reliance on distribution channels is also dependent on their capacity to distribute and collect revenue from additional sources (e.g. charges for preferential seating).
American Airlines acknowledges that it derives substantial revenue from ancillary fees and is concerned that third-party vendors won’t promote them as vigorously as the company does. This discrepancy presents a potential advantage to astute customers.
When using the app to purchase flights, travellers can view what’s included in their fare, such as the ability to select a seat, the cost for cancelling or changing the ticket, and any fees for checked baggage, if applicable, Fish explained via email.
Online travel agencies can help customers save money by clarifying the differences between basic economy and main cabin fares. Airlines often prioritize displaying lower basic economy fares in search results in order to entice shoppers to upgrade to more expensive main cabin fares during checkout. This mismatch of interests between airlines and their customers can make comparison shopping difficult and lead to higher ticket costs.
Travellers can review the different fare options, such as basic economy, economy and more, side-by-side, which makes it simple to pick the appropriate fare for their requirements, as Fish clarified.
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Pawanpreet is a versatile content writer and editor who enjoys experimenting with various niches of writing. Her keen eye for detail and love for thorough research helps her create high-quality content to outweigh clickbait. She extensively works for digital marketing and manages clients that range from travel to luxury goods. Her creativity is fueled by her love for learning new things, travelling, and the environment. Also, she is a free soul and an avid animal lover who believes in doing everything with a smile :)
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