Today Continental airlines announced a new “option” for travelers: When making travel plans, the carrier will now hold your quoted fare for three days for a $5 fee; it will hold that fare for up to seven days for a $9 fee.
Like most other major carriers, Continental still will hold your quoted fare for the first 24 hours for free.
I’m certain it will not be long before other major carriers (namely United, Continental’s merger partner) will soon adopt this new fee.
What’s good about this is that it truly is a new option– prior to this, there was no way to hold a fare quote for an extended period. So Continental is not imposing a fee on something they used to do for free.
On the other hand, its yet another new fee piled on by the airlines in their zeal to find more “ancillary revenue.” It’s also ironic that Continental announced this on the same day that the U.S Bureau of Transportation Statistics revealed that U.S. airlines raked in a tidy $2.6 billion in baggage fees alone in the first nine months of this year.
As long as this doesn’t involve a fee or taking away of the free 24 hours(-ish; it’s generally midnight next day, or as much as 36) this strikes me as a plus. On the other hand, add-on fee for longer hosts now worries me that it’s likely to be followed by a fee for 24 hour hold later.
Thanks, David! Good comment!
David Cumpston says
I actually like this new option because as you said, we’ve never been able to do this in the past. I’m sure many frequent fliers in search of a good deal have watched more than one great fare slip out from underneath them because they weren’t fast enough with the “buy” button.
And frankly, I’m surprised it’s as inexpensive as it is.