UK in line for booking fee

8 Sep 2005 by business traveller

BA has quietly brought in a booking fee for passengers booking online using from certain European countries.

Unlike other carriers, who highlight their online fees, the BA charge is only apparent once the "taxes, fees and surcharges" box is reached on the final booking page.

BA's new fee, roughly Euros 5 per person per ticket, was introduced on August 31. It applies to flights originating at 27 countries in mainland Europe, Scandinavia and Israel. But "the online fee will be introduced into the UK once we have worked out the technicalities," confirmed a BA spokesperson to Business Traveller.

By levying this fee, BA has fallen in line with rivals like Austrian Airlines, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss and TAP who are already charging for online bookings in various countries (the UK excepted).

Adds BA, "What we are saying is that British Airways is committed to transparent pricing and that the fee reflects the cost of the booking systems."

The airline says it hasn't yet determined how much its UK online fee will be. But whatever it is you can sure that once BA acts, its rivals will follow suit in the UK.  And once imposed, fees have a nasty habit of increasing – witness the London Congestion Charge.

Report by Alex McWhirter

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