A move by Emirates to offer customers the ability to temporarily lock in airfares before deciding to buy their tickets is meeting a lukewarm response from the travel trade.
A move by Emirates to offer customers
the ability to temporarily lock in airfares before deciding to buy their
tickets is meeting a lukewarm response from the travel trade.
Customers can now select and lock in
fares for up to 48 hours for a fee, which is calculated according to the route
or destination, Emirates told The National newspaper.
The fee is returned once the flights are
paid for. The facility is available in the Middle East, Arabian Gulf, Iran,
Indian Ocean, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and some countries in South East
Asia, Europe and North America.
Travel agents are expected to feel an
impact, according to Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at Strategic Aero Research.
He told The National, “They will feel an
impact but because Emirates still uses agents, their revenue channel isn’t cut
“Eventually it will hurt them because
Emirates will be more inclined to advertise and freeze fares on its site rather
than push that off to travel agents who could conceivably undercut Emirates
Customers can choose the
‘Hold My Fare’ option on the payment page of emirates.com. Customers also receive a booking confirmation email
after they have used ‘Hold My Fare’, with information on when the booking will
be held until, as well as instructions and links to the ‘Manage a booking’ page
on emirates.com when they decide to pay for their flights.
Once they choose ‘Pay
Now’, more services like travel insurance, hotel stays and car rentals can be
added to their journey.
Last week, during the IATA annual
conference in Miami, Emirates president Tim Clark said the carrier was working
on its own distribution system for more control over ticket prices and