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Air India, Jet, Kingfisher, withdraw transaction fee

India’s top three airlines have withdrawn a transaction fee on air tickets effective today for tickets sold through their call centres, websites or offices.

Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines have withdrawn the fee, which ranges from 350 rupees on a domestic economy ticket to 1,200 to 10,000 rupees on first class international tickets.

Earlier this month, airlines had withdrawn the five per cent sales commission, built in to the ticket prices, they used to pay travel agents, and urged the agents to charge “transaction fees” to the customer and make up their income. To ensure parity between prices of tickets bought directly from the airlines and those from travel agents, airlines also levied the “transaction fee”, a move, extremely unpopular with the passengers.

As fuel prices have been falling, there is pressure building on the airlines to reduce fares, with Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel calling on airlines to play their part in reviving air travel. This move, while welcome, is sure to have the travel agent community up in arms.

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About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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