Delta Air Lines announced today that it has ceased charging customers for booking a ticket over the phone or at the counter. In a post on the company’s blog:
Delta Air Lines will no longer charge a fee for customers who purchase their tickets over the phone through Reservation Sales or in person at airports and other ticket office locations*.
… *The fee waiver does not apply to tickets issued in select European locations.
Most customers already book online, either through the airline’s website or a third party, and this is usually free. Some third parties charge their own fee (one reason among many to avoid an OTA). Lufthansa goes one step further and charges fees when customers don’t book directly with them.
If companies want to encourage customers to go to the source, make it painless. Southwest already knows this and doesn’t charge a fee either.
I only book by phone for if it’s a ticket I can’t find online, either because the airline makes it technically impossible or it’s just very complex. Fortunately I have elite status, and these fees are always waived. But not for everyone. Other major airlines in the U.S. still collect the following fees for tickets booked directly with an agent on the phone or in person.
- American Airlines: $25-35
- United Airlines: $25
- Alaska Airlines: $15
- JetBlue: $25
Airlines shouldn’t make it any more difficult to take a person’s money. This seems like a very straightforward decision regardless of mushy statements about “engaging with our customers and employees.” (HT to One Mile at a Time)