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Priceline eliminates some airfare booking fees

On Monday, priceline.com announced it will officially eliminate its $5 booking fee for airline tickets, making permanent an experiment it began in June as a summertime promotion. The change doesn't apply to priceline's Name Your Own Price fares, in which the airline and exact flight times aren't displayed until after booking.

What's behind the change? Priceline claims "customers will pay less for their tickets than they would at other major full-service online travel reservation services, including Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz." While that may not always be the case, booking on priceline will now be like booking on the airline's own website where you don't have to pay extra booking fees.

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For now, Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz do not seem eager to join priceline. Spokespeople from all three agencies told the LATimes.com they don't currently have plans to eliminate their fees.

(Editor's Note: SmarterTravel.com is a member of the TripAdvisor Media Network, an operating company of Expedia, Inc. Expedia, Inc. also owns Expedia.com.)

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