Travelocitythe fee on United fares in response to the airline's elimination of commissions issued to travel agents for selling airfare. They have removed the fee while they are in talks with United about a marketing deal.
A slew of airlines have recently stopped paying commissions to traditional and online travel agents. Some travel agencies have struck back by slapping fees on the airlines' fares. The most recent example came Wednesday, when airline-backed Orbitz said it had added a $5 service charge onto the fares of America West Airlines and Air Canada.
In such situations, adding fees is usually temporary. Orbitz said that it is in discussions with America West and Air Canada on how the Web travel agency should be paid for selling their airfare.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based Travelocity imposed a $10 fee on Northwest Airlines and KLM flights last year but soon removed the fee after it reached an agreement with the airlines.
The top Web travel agencies, such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz, sell enough airfare to give them clout with the airlines, analysts have said.