Travel agent and airfare

Nov 13th, 2002, 02:22 PM
  #1  
nina
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Travel agent and airfare

I called to book the new rate advertised in the paper for Portland to Frankfurt, the direct, new flight on Lufthansa airlines. I called the agency as they were advertising 403 plus taxes and fees. I was going in April.

The lady I spoke to was really nice, answered my questions, and called me back right away with the dates I wanted and held it for me. then she tells me the price is 530 with all the taxes and fees.

She says 40 of that is their own service fee because it is a "published" ticket. What does this mean?

She tried to explain that normally she would book through sombody else and there would not be a fee, but this fare was different. I told her nevermind about the ticket once she said the fee they add is 40 dollars. Isn't that fee a little exesive? I spoke with my sister, who is also going, and she says the agent lied about how much the taxes were, 87.00! Should I contact the better business bureau?
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 02:38 PM
  #2  
Jim Rosenberg
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I think you're getting the straight scoop from the agent. Here's a breakdown on a recent ticket I purchased for Amsterdam for next spring:

$443.00 (Base Fare)
$ 82.24 (Taxes and fees)
____________________
Total: $525.24

Keep in mind that is without any local travel agent fees because it was booked directly with the airline. If I take your $40 lower base price and then add $40 for the agent's fee, it nets out to zero and so I end up in about the same place.

Agents charge fees because they can't work for little or nothing. Consumers have to decide whether the service is worth the cost, but I don't think you were handled in a dishonest way at all. The fees were disclosed and you were given all the information you needed to make a choice.
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 04:19 PM
  #3  
Meg
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I just bought a ticket on Lufthansa for the Portland - Frankfurt flight in April. The tax was $87.73. My sister bought her ticket on the same flights but continued on to Barcelona. Her tax was $105.80 on a $500 ticket!
 
Nov 13th, 2002, 05:10 PM
  #4  
pay
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I would be hesitant to travel to Europe with your sister.

If she is so paranoid and accusatory regarding taxes, she will be miserable to travel with when you encounter the Value Added Taxes and various gratuities that are typically added to restaurant bills throughout Europe.

I think you are in for a long (not in duration but in tedium) trip with this sibling.

By the way, go ahead and report the agent to the BBB. They will most likely laugh you out of their office.
 
Nov 14th, 2002, 05:26 AM
  #5  
Jason
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Nina
The fee your agent quited you-$40- is in fact not "excessive".Its about normal.About the end of February the airlines almost completely cut of the commissions they had been paying to travel agents.Led of course by Delta who has long thought TA's were a nuisance according to the people I know in the industry.I've never quite figured how an airline could consider a segment of the work force providing a company 85% of their business could qualify as a "nuisance".But I am not an expert on anything.Agency fees made their made their way from the EastCoast and maybe its a new thing in your area.My TA is in Dallas and even tho there are bound to be agents in his area who have been charging fees longer than others,it is a relatively "new" practice.I dont think its an issue for the BBB.The agent was upfront with you.The "other" way she would have secured a ticket for you probly would have been a consolidator from whom she would have recived a commission.Therefore she would not have gouged you with a fee since she would have been making reasonable compensation from the consolidator.Many of the larger/Mega travel agencies charge fees to isse the ticket,fees to change the reservation fees to add a car/hotel and a fee to refund the ticket if that applies. I hope this helps.
Jason
 

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