Expedia.com today announced that they’ve eliminated their $20 booking fee for travel reservations made over the phone. Here’s what the NYTimes reported from their In Transit blog:
“It’s the latest move in a fee war that has been playing out over the past several months among online travel agencies. Earlier this year, Expedia eliminated online fees for changing or canceling car rentals, cruises, hotels and most flights. It also did away with online booking fees for flights. Orbitz and Travelocity quickly followed suit, eliminating flight booking fees in June and later scrapping change and cancel penalties on hotel reservations.
Expedia wouldn’t say exactly what percentage of its bookings are made by phone, but Forrester Research estimates about 10 percent. The move gives Expedia a pricing advantage over airlines, which levy surcharges for phone bookings, said Henry H. Harteveldt, principal travel analyst at Forrester. Still, he does not expect that airlines will match Expedia’s decision.
But how about other online travel agencies? No word yet on whether Orbitz or Travelocity will eliminate their $25 charges for booking flights by phone.”
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