All signs point to worsening flight experiences. What can be done?
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: Airfares are down. According to fare-prediction app Hopper, rates in September dropped a substantial 18 percent from the previous year. And all signs point to a bottoming-out this month, at an average domestic round-trip price of $204. Now, the bad: Airline consolidation and the continued softening of the European economy, among other concerns, have some analysts nervous about the future of flying. But don’t panic just yet. Although the following warning signs seem to indicate that things could get worse for fliers, there may be ways to ease at least some of the pain.
Last fall, Germany-based Lufthansa Group, which includes Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, began charging a booking fee of 16 euros for any flight not sold directly by the airline.
The move compensates for the fees airlines pay to travel agencies, especially those online. While it may not seem significant now, experts say other airlines are watching and may match the program if it doesn’t significantly dent demand.
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