Germany’s Lufthansa airline will soon charge customers an $18 fee for flights booked through travel websites such as Expedia, Engadget reports.
The company is rolling out the new feature in September, which is likely to rub some consumers the wrong way. The company says it’s doing so because selling tickets on third-party sites is “several times” more expensive for the airline.
“The distribution cost charge will drive up the cost of tickets booked via so-called online travel agencies like Expedia or Opodo,” Martin Riecken, a Lufthansa spokesman, told the BBC.
The added fee comes as Lufthansa has been struggling recently to cut costs, Engadget notes. The latest move isn’t meant to “discourage anyone” from finding lower prices, the company said, but rather to help consumers get special deals only found on its own website.
“If you look at Lufthansa’s recent performance, they have been through difficulties,” Laurie Price, an airline industry consultant, told the BBC. “So they’ve been looking at every way to increase their bottom line. There is only so much cutting you can do.”