Online Poll: Do You Charge Service Fees?

According to ASTA's latest research study, the 2008 Travel Agency Service Fee Report, although 89 percent of all travel agencies report collecting service fees—down from 2006—almost half the leisure-based agencies surveyed indicated that they operate on a commission-only model for leisure travel services. An overwhelming percentage of corporate agencies, meanwhile, indicated they charge service fees on a per-transaction basis.

"As this study found, the service-fee model is changing,” said Chris Russo, ASTA president and chair. “Fees today aren't limited to just traditional brick-and-mortar travel agencies. All the large online agents charge service fees, although many recently stopped charging airline fees to remain competitive. The same market forces that have caused the online agencies to change their models are affecting traditional agencies, pushing many to expand their service fee model, whether it be the amount charged or the number of services for which they charge."

Have home-based travel agents jumped on the bandwagon and started charging service fees? Should they? What are your thoughts? Please vote in our poll to the right and share your opinions by posting a comment below.

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