March 27, 2008

Service Fees for Air Tickets

I'm sure most of Qatar residents are already aware that the Qatar government already removed the agent's comission on airline tickets. However, in lieu of agent's commission, travel agencies are now charging service fees for utilizing their services in booking flights. I'm not sure if travel agents in Qatar have uniform fees but here's what our Office's Travel Agency is charging:

Ticket issuance: 7% of face value
All types od re-issues: QAR 100- over and above the actual charge by the concerned airline
Credit Card payments: 7% + 3% on Amex/ Diners and 7% + 2% on other cards
Refund processing: QR 100 over and above the actual charge by the concerned airline

Note: All fees are non-refundable.

Re-issuing tickets used to be free unless the airline have specific restriction and payment by credit card has no surcharge. If the company is providing tickets, individuals will not be affected by the charges; but those receiving airfare allowance can save some bucks by booking tickets from airline's online booking facility. This will avoid the 7% service fee and will save a significant amount of money especially to those travelling with their families. But there are drawbacks too. Online booking requires instant payment through credit card and the traveller has to use his own card because it is required to be presented during check-in. One more thing, having an e-ticket can be a hassle in NAIA. Read my husband's experience here.

Do you book your tickets online or through a travel agency?

Schengen Visa Expanded

Great news for Europe travellers who are required to obtain Schengen visa to gain entry in Schengen States of Europe. As of 21 December 2007, additional nine new countries became part of the Schengen travel area including Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. This means tourists can extend their borderless travel to nine more countries with just a single visa.

Prior to the 2007 expansion, the existing fifteen Schengen states were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France (Monaco is treated as part of France), Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain. However, UK and Ireland still maintain boarder controls and are not part of the Schengen visa.

Happy Travelling and enjoy Europe!

Related Article:

Borders fall in Europe overnight

March 20, 2008

I'm Back!

I'm back after a long hiatus! It's been a while since I last updated this blog. In Shala, I will be able to post my trip to Oman last December along with my other other trips in the past. I guess, it's still worth sharing past travel experiences especially if they were memorable! So come back and check my posts :)