Expedia site drops booking fees in Australia

Leading travel sites in Australia, including Expedia and Zuji – a sister company of lastminute.com – are to drop booking fees on airline tickets following similar moves in the US.

Expedia Australia and Zuji announced the cut in fees in line with the US, where all the major online travel agents have reduced or eliminated booking fees on some product lines.

Zuji claimed to be the first online agent to drop booking fees in Australia, saying consumers in the country paid A$22 million (£11.5 million) in online booking fees last year – adding between A$9 and A$50 to the price of a ticket.

Peter Smith, Zuji Australia general manager, said the move “should stimulate demand”.

Expedia has dropped fees on all airline bookings in Australia until October 18 and says the move will be made permanent if the site receives more than one million visitors by the deadline. Expedia has also dropped fees for New Zealand customers.

The decision to drop fees on flight bookings in the US is costing Expedia $3 million a month, according to chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi. However, Khosrowshahi said the move had increased demand for air travel and given Expedia the chance to sell higher-margin products and add-ons.

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