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Old 05.06.2015, 23:24
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Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

Starting 01 September, airlines in the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels, and SWISS) will add a fee of $18 for booking on third-party sites such as Expedia and Orbitz.

Article here.

Not sure if this applies worldwide, or only to American customers. Laws regarding what they can charge probably vary by country.
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Old 05.06.2015, 23:26
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

From what I read it is worldwide. To stop people booking through 3rd party websites
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Old 11.06.2015, 10:14
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

Swiss Airlines will be charging customers booking via travel bureaux companies an extra CHF 16 from 1st September 2015.

Kuoni and Hotelplan are "Very upset" and of course the customer will be paying the extra charge.

To avoid the charge you could buy the ticket directly from Swiss, Austrian or Lufthansa.

http://www.blick.ch/news/wirtschaft/...id3851527.html
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Old 11.06.2015, 10:29
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

It sounds as if this could be discriminatory against older people who can't use the Internet and thus had no choice but to go to a travel agent.

But having said that, travel agents have been charging booking fees to cutomers for years. So maybe it's just a taste of their own greed that is being handed back to them.
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Old 11.06.2015, 10:39
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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But having said that, travel agents have been charging booking fees to cutomers for years. So maybe it's just a taste of their own greed that is being handed back to them.
Surely they have to if they've got a bricks-and-mortar agency on the high street?
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Old 11.06.2015, 10:46
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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Surely they have to if they've got a bricks-and-mortar agency on the high street?
If it's a mom & pop type of agency, I agree.

I would have expected a big travel agency such as Kuoni should have the negotiating clout to twist SWISS's arm and ask for more favourable conditions

An "if you don't want us to relegate your brochures to the bottom shelf and 'recommend' other airlines sort of thing".
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Old 11.06.2015, 11:05
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

I imagine a lot of this fee is to cover the cost global distribution systems (like Sabre and Amadeus) which are how the tickets can be sold worldwide across so many different outlets.

They charge the airline a fee for selling the ticket, so it's possible the airline makes less money from selling through the agency.

I agree re. the small agencies, but you have to offer a service for what you are charging - for the majority of people booking a flight doesn't need a travel agent, and TBH having someone read the brochure to me isn't much of a value add either.
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Old 11.06.2015, 11:12
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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I imagine a lot of this fee is to cover the cost global distribution systems (like Sabre and Amadeus) which are how the tickets can be sold worldwide across so many different outlets.

They charge the airline a fee for selling the ticket, so it's possible the airline makes less money from selling through the agency.

I agree re. the small agencies, but you have to offer a service for what you are charging - for the majority of people booking a flight doesn't need a travel agent, and TBH having someone read the brochure to me isn't much of a value add either.


^^ this


In essence airlines pay GDS (Global Distribution Systems) a listing fee to publish their fares and make them bookable. Travel Agencies and online engines like Expedia load the travel content from a GDS and make it available to end users to purchase.


In the end this is nothing else than Lufthansa trying to lower their sales cost and cut out the middle man. Low cost carriers historically have not been using GDS to make their flights available, although Easyjet is now available in Amadeus at an extra fee (like Lufthansa).


Of course Travel Agencies are upset as they will lose business. And Lufthansa will not be too worried that the agencies have less incentive to sell their flights. They expect either that it will not impact customer choice or expect other airlines to follow.
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Old 11.06.2015, 11:25
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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^^ this


In essence airlines pay GDS (Global Distribution Systems) a listing fee to publish their fares and make them bookable. Travel Agencies and online engines like Expedia load the travel content from a GDS and make it available to end users to purchase.


In the end this is nothing else than Lufthansa trying to lower their sales cost and cut out the middle man. Low cost carriers historically have not been using GDS to make their flights available, although Easyjet is now available in Amadeus at an extra fee (like Lufthansa).


Of course Travel Agencies are upset as they will lose business. And Lufthansa will not be too worried that the agencies have less incentive to sell their flights. They expect either that it will not impact customer choice or expect other airlines to follow.
For years the likes of Lufthansa have been trying to define a gap between themselves and low cost carriers such as Easyjet by pointing at all the extra service they provide. These differences are being eroded one after the other. I hope Lufthansa have thought this out to the end as they may soon have no leg to stand on in justifying their higher prices.
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Old 11.06.2015, 11:46
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For years the likes of Lufthansa have been trying to define a gap between themselves and low cost carriers such as Easyjet by pointing at all the extra service they provide. These differences are being eroded one after the other. I hope Lufthansa have thought this out to the end as they may soon have no leg to stand on in justifying their higher prices.
They could actually try to justify their prices by matching them with their service, although I won't hold my breath!

It works in the budget bracket - in my view there's a definite cost and service difference between Easyjet and Ryanair, priced at a point where I'll always pay a little more to travel on Easyjet rather than suffer Ryanair.

Interesting similar topic for Swiss, who of course are a Lufthansa subsidiary:

Swiss to (partially) introduce baggage fees from 23 June

I guess they'll say the booking fee is an optional "module".

Will be interesting to see if their prices are really anywhere near competitive with low-cost airlines. Not sure where this leaves Edelweiss either, seems redundant having a low-cost brand within the same airline.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.06.2015 at 19:08. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 11.06.2015, 16:33
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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Interesting similar topic for Swiss, who of course are a Lufthansa subsidiary:

Swiss to (partially) introduce baggage fees from 23 June

I guess they'll say the booking fee is an optional "module".

Will be interesting to see if their prices are really anywhere near competitive with low-cost airlines. Not sure where this leaves Edelweiss either, seems redundant having a low-cost brand within the same airline.
If you hunt around you can find very cheap deals on Swiss, sometimes just a scrape above the Easyjet fares and sometimes even undercutting them (especially once you factor in all the stuff such as credit card and baggage fees, paying to chose your seat etc). But I think these are more loss leader offers, akin to Migros or Coop occasionally having items on offer that undercut Lidl or Aldi. They are designed to grab people's attention and draw them into the store but are not representative of the broader spectrum of prices they will find there.

Swiss still struggles with the concept of one-way fares and the simplicity of the booking interface, although to be honest Easyjet is slipping the other way with booking taking more and more clicks as you need to click away all the extras as they try to upsell you on such things as hotels and rental cars, and this is going against their core message of keeping everything as simple as possible.

In terms of catering, Easyjet is years ahead with a wide choice of (quite delicious) food items at reasonable prices rather than free stuff that people don't actually want and that leaves you hungry even if you do eat it.

Easyjet are also more switched on in their boarding procedure. I've noticed that in many airports they board at the front and rear simultaneously, rolling out the steps for the rear door even if there is a tube for the front. That saves on dwell time but is also appreciated by the passengers.

On the whole most things on Easyjet seem pretty well thought through whereas on swiss you often get the impression that we do things this way because we have always done them this way. They probably still have the challenge of the culture change ahead of them.
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Old 11.06.2015, 16:42
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

so you can choose between a credit card fee at Lufthansa Group or a 3rd party charge.
dooes it really matter?
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Old 11.06.2015, 17:17
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

as said above, agencies charges you irrelevant fees anyway, so I would definitely rather see my money go to Lufthansa (SWISS) than the Kuoni, Expedia, Opodo etc .. at least when I call Swiss or Lufthansa there is a real customer service.
I have anyway took the habit of always book on the companies websites. The only issue I see now is for trips requiring more than one airliner.
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Old 11.06.2015, 18:17
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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On the whole most things on Easyjet seem pretty well thought through whereas on swiss you often get the impression that we do things this way because we have always done them this way. They probably still have the challenge of the culture change ahead of them.


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Old 11.06.2015, 18:23
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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as said above, agencies charges you irrelevant fees anyway, so I would definitely rather see my money go to Lufthansa (SWISS) than the Kuoni, Expedia, Opodo etc .. at least when I call Swiss or Lufthansa there is a real customer service.
I have anyway took the habit of always book on the companies websites. The only issue I see now is for trips requiring more than one airliner.
I like to book directly with airlines too when I can.

What i apprecaite about the booking sites though is the ability to compare. I can understand there are airlines who resent that.
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Old 11.06.2015, 18:23
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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....But I think these are more loss leader offers, akin to Migros or Coop occasionally having items on offer that undercut Lidl or Aldi. They are designed to grab people's attention and draw them into the store but are not representative of the broader spectrum of prices they will find there.
Actually my personal experience with Swiss special offers has been pretty good and I've had no trouble getting their better prices. It's actually several years since I last flew EZ as I have never found them to be cheaper than Swiss



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Swiss still struggles with the concept of one-way fares and the simplicity of the booking interface, although to be honest Easyjet is slipping the other way with booking taking more and more clicks as you need to click away all the extras as they try to upsell you on such things as hotels and rental cars, and this is going against their core message of keeping everything as simple as possible.
Agree on the one-way fares but otherwise the EZ booking interface is a real mess. Even Ryanair is better these days.



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Easyjet are also more switched on in their boarding procedure. I've noticed that in many airports they board at the front and rear simultaneously, rolling out the steps for the rear door even if there is a tube for the front. That saves on dwell time but is also appreciated by the passengers.
The front/rear thing has everything to do with the airport/stand and little to do with the airport - if you're at a finger dock you can't board by the rear doors. Every Swiss plane I've been on that had rear doors has always opened them if not parked at a finger dock.


The passengers do seem to rush more to get on with FR (and I guess EZ) but I think that's a combination of memories of unallocated seating in the past plus the need to get on quick to make sure there's space for their carry-on luggage. I think you'll see Swiss passengers move a lot faster once they have to pay for hold baggage.
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Old 11.06.2015, 18:38
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

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Actually my personal experience with Swiss special offers has been pretty good and I've had no trouble getting their better prices. It's actually several years since I last flew EZ as I have never found them to be cheaper than Swiss
I've been on several EZ flights so-far this year in the sub 50 CHF bracket. I don't remember ever booking anything on Swiss for that sort of price.

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The front/rear thing has everything to do with the airport/stand and little to do with the airport
I don't like this idea of the airline washing their hands in innocence by blaming the airport. Surely these are things you can negotiate when you're a big airline and bringing lots of people into an airport that needs your custom.

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- if you're at a finger dock you can't board by the rear doors. Every Swiss plane I've been on that had rear doors has always opened them if not parked at a finger dock.
In Alicante for example it happens all the time. About 60% of people board through through the finger tube thing but those seated in the rear are who don't mind steps go out the little door on the side of the tube thing, down the steps, across the tarmac and back up the steps into the plane. I've never seen a Swiss plane open the rear door for boarding when the front door had a tube.

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The passengers do seem to rush more to get on with FR (and I guess EZ) but I think that's a combination of memories of unallocated seating in the past plus the need to get on quick to make sure there's space for their carry-on luggage. I think you'll see Swiss passengers move a lot faster once they have to pay for hold baggage.
I think it's mostly about the carry on luggage. It's amazing how people use all the tricks to pack to the limit and generally there isn't enough space to stow it all with the cabin staff having to transfer stuff into the hold for free. This isn't an efficient way to operate, I wonder how much of the EZ hold is now empty and whether they'll maybe consider incentivizing people to check in more stuff by maybe making charges weight dependent with massive discounts on the small stuff.

On the other hand I'm planning to bring some prety bulky items to London later this year and will probably be flying Swiss so I can benefit from the free lugagge thing.
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Old 11.06.2015, 21:25
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Re: Lufthansa Group to start charging a fee for booking on 3rd party sites

As we have moved from Lufthansa fees, to EasyJet carry on luggage, I would like to point out the small print on the EasyJet booking page. They have 2 sizes of carry on baggage, and state that if the plane is full the larger size might be taken off you and put in the hold. This happened to us once at Gatwick, no extra charge, just collect the bag on the carousel with the "paid for" large bag.
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