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Fee displays on airline websites are dynamic and inconsistent

Excerpt from Travel Weekly

Dec 26, 2012 10:40 am

Skift Take

The article takes a useful look at ancillary fees and how airlines handle them differently, but it errs in portraying dynamic pricing as necessarily bad, and it downplays the shortcomings of GDS and travel agency displays.

— Dennis Schaal

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American Airlines

Business Class seats in American Airlines' 777s. American Airlines


Booking a ticket on an airline website these days is a little like finding your way through an ever-changing online thicket in which new obstacles pop up a la the maze in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

The major reasons for this are that airline strategies for ancillaries continue to evolve, as do the ways they display — and sometimes price — those fees on their websites.

Ancillary fees started out as a Hail Mary pass that American Airlines threw five years ago in the face of soaring fuel costs. American announced baggage fees, which had been tried before but had never stuck, but it did so before it had systems for processing and collecting those fees.

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