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Expedia to Expose Airlines’ Hidden Fees

Expedia to Expose Airlines’ Hidden Fees

Expedia is launching tools for greater transparency into purchasing options for fliers.

Expedia, Inc. announced Wednesday that it is launching tools for greater transparency into flight fees and services by the year-end, according to a press release from the Bellevue, Wash.-based travel-company.

The company is investing to create a comprehensive, transparent marketplace for flyers to compare not just flight fares, but baggage and cancellation frees from airline to airline. Many airlines do not post baggage and cancellation fees until after customers are ready to purchase their ticket.

“The global travel industry continues to expand and innovate, but there are very few companies investing in air shopping and booking,” said Greg Schulze, senior vice president, Global Tour & Transport at Expedia. ” We’ve been making significant progress towards improving air travel for our customers and suppliers through our recent integrations with Routehappy, innovative site features, and clearer fare choices from airlines’ fare families – all of which help customers better navigate the increasing market complexity.”

Expedia will launch “upgrade options,” where flyers can see exactly what is included in flight ticket prices at the time of purchase, which will give consumers more information to book trips with specific attributes and on-board services.

The company is also introducing a “baggage calculator” that shows flyers airlines’ varying baggage fees, pricing information and policies on specific flights.

Expedia will also list paid seating options, so consumers can identify, select and purchase premium seating on an online seat map in relation to frequent flier miles and other payment options.

“Ultimately, our goal is to help travelers make more confident travel decisions,” Schulze said.

In addition, Expedia will unveil the following:

  • A “price trends” tool that will automatically aggregate pricing date for specific destinations based on Expedia users’ recent searches.
  • A “price prediction” feature that will calculate the probability of certain price changes over a given week. It will recommend when the best time for consumers to book tickets based on whether flight prices are expected to increase or decrease over time.
  • A ‘’structured discovery” platform where flyers can view and repeat previous searches without reentering trip information and present results from alternative searches, such as different dates or nearby airports.

Expedia is an online-travel agency with localized sites in 31 countries. Brands include Hotels.com, Hotwire, Hot Rate Hotels, Hot Rate Cars, Tavelocity, Orbitz Worldwide and CheapTickets, among others.

[Photo: iStock]

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