A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a link to a BBC article about this new fee initiative by Lufthansa that tries to add a 16 euro fee for bookings made using OTA’s such as Expedia and Opodo.
This new charge is to take place on September 1, 2015, and include all the Lufthansa Group airlines of Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss in addition to Lufthansa itself.
You can access the BBC article here of which below is an excerpt:
Lufthansa Group is to introduce a surcharge for customers who buy its flights through third-party websites.
The 16-euro ($17.80; £11.60) fee is likely to deter travellers from completing bookings on services including Expedia, Opodo and ebookers.
It marks the latest effort by the airline industry to steer customers towards its own websites.
One expert said this not only helped cut airlines’ costs but also allowed them to them promote add-on services.
However, the booking services suggest their own platforms are often easier to use and help keep prices low.
Lufthansa Group’s move will affect tickets bought for Lufthansa itself as well as Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss from 1 September.
I know that there are many that prefer booking on airlines’ own websites, but I don’t personally see any benefit. These “sites” are often unable to price my complicated itineraries that Orbitz/Expedia and real travel agents have no problems piecing together.
Airlines would prefer more customers to book direct so that they could then start spamming them with offers from upgrades to rentals cars and hotels.