Today Travelocity is getting rid of its booking fees on plane tickets sold through May 31, matching a move last week by Expedia, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The fees, from $7 to $12, have been disguised as part of the government taxes and fees during the online checkout process.
While both websites say they'll only waive the fee until end of May, I agree with travel industry analyst Tom Botts that the fees are going to be gone for the rest of the summer. As Tom points out, "Adding fees back in is hard—really hard." Given that Priceline and Hotwire have also waived these fees, the pressure is on the last holdout, Orbitz, to drop plane-ticket fees as well. More than half of visitors to Expedia also visit Orbitz or vice-versa, so customers will be comparison shopping for the lowest price.
Travelocity also launched a limited price guarantee on vacation packages, called "PriceGuardian" that is similar to a program Orbitz rolled out late last year, (see our earlier blog post "Orbitz to automatically refund customers if airfare drops").